As Americans hit the road for travel in record numbers since the start of the pandemic, the question now is if the travel industry is ready for the surge.
The volume is expected to near pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA. It’ll be the second-highest year for Independence Day travel, trailing behind 2019 numbers. However, some airlines have canceled hundreds of flights in a matter of days and there have been longer waiting times at airports.
Experts said the travel industry was caught off guard with the travel surge.
“The airlines were caught with their pants down. They scheduled too many flights, and they didn’t have enough people ready to operate the flights, operate the airport and the companies that they work with were short too,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst.
American Airlines, the nation’s biggest carrier, was forced to cancel hundreds of flights and the trend could continue through mid-July.
People are still eager to get out after being inside for more than a year.