More people are going on vacations now, which is great for the tourism industry but could cause some problems for travelers. One of the biggest problems occurring now is a huge staffing shortage, which could affect your next trip.
We’re sure you’re aware of supply issues and shortages that have affected places like Disney World. But this new shortage will affect HOW you get to places like Disney World. According to My News 13, a pilot shortage is causing many airlines to cancel flights.
Take Tampa International Airport, for example. Over the last week, the airport had 55 canceled flights. This is starting to happen nationwide, though, and that — along with weather delays — creates issues for airlines.
Commercial airline pilot Jim Shilling explained, “You get pilots who run out of duty time because their planes have to sit on the ramp. Now there’s no pilots to fill those slots from the reserves. There’s just not enough pilots to backfill whenever we run out of time.”
Southwest, Delta, and American Airlines have already cut back on some flights and grounded planes due to these issues. But where have all the pilots gone? Shilling believes that it’s a combination of several factors: the long training process, expensive startup costs, and many pilots who retired early during the pandemic.
With air passenger demand increasing for the busy summer travel season, it’s creating an issue that airlines are simply not prepared, especially if a secondary factor, like weather-related problems, also grounds flights.
In an email, Captain Dennis Tajer, spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association, wrote the following: “That has caused a severe log jam in training. That along with selling tickets for flights they didn’t have enough pilots to reliably operate, has caused meltdowns whenever it rains. Add that to leaving very little buffers in pilots’ schedules and any delay leaves no room in a pilots’ FAA maximum hours of flight and/or length of work day, causing more cancellations and delays.”
If you’re traveling soon, we recommend signing up for any kind of email or text updates from your airline in the event of your flight being delayed or canceled. Also, be sure to download your airline’s app to stay informed.
It also doesn’t hurt to continue to check your flight’s status on the day of to keep ahead of the situation. If your flight is canceled, contact your airline immediately to rebook — airlines are required to do everything they can to get you to your destination.
And keep following AllEars for more updates on the latest news that might impact your upcoming trip!
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Will you be flying this summer? Let us know in the comments!