The U.S. scrapping COVID-19 tests for people entering the U.S. is giving an extra boost to pent-up demand for transatlantic travel. Meanwhile, laid-off aviation workers have found new jobs with higher wages and more stable contracts. And now everybody wants to travel again, but workers don’t want airport jobs.
After two years of pandemic restrictions, travel demand has roared back, but airlines and airports that slashed jobs during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis are struggling to keep up. With the busy summer tourism season underway in Europe, passengers are encountering chaotic scenes at airports, including lengthy delays, canceled flights and headaches over lost luggage.
Nearly 2,000 flights from major continental European airports were canceled during one week this month, with Schiphol/Amsterdam accounting for nearly 9%. A further 376 flights were canceled from U.K. airports. I had a family with a cancelled flight from Schiphol/Amsterdam to Venice. They were not accommodated on another flight. The advantage of having travel advisor, I spent 2 hours with the carrier to rectify the situation.
It’s a similar story in the United States, where airlines canceled thousands of flights over two days last week because of bad weather just as crowds of summer tourists grow. Labor strife also is causing problems. Several international carriers have had labor strikes, causing slow down and cancellations.
Thousands of pilots, cabin crew, baggage handlers and other aviation industry workers were laid off during the pandemic, and now there’s not enough to cope with the travel rebound.
For American travelers to Europe, the dollar strengthening against the euro and the pound is also a factor, by making hotels and restaurants more affordable.
It is very clear, we all need to allow more time in transit and much more patience.
Edited from The Hague. AP reporters