Summer Special Report
June 4 to June 10, 2022
Read all about the summer chaos! Here come the summer strikes at Europe's airports and railroads. Watch for disruptions in Britain, France and Scandinavia. Hyatt says business travel still lags 2019 numbers. Alaska and American airlines are bullish on the second-quarter even with reduced seat capacity. Lufthansa and its subsidiaries slash summer schedules. Madrid travelers are missing flights due to passport-control delays at Barajas Airport, Iberia claims. KLM stopped flying some ticketed passengers into or out of its overwhelmed Amsterdam hub over the weekend and as many as 50 aircraft operated with no flyers. And more.

Summer Travel Update: Friday, June 10, 2022

In something of a surprise, the CDC has lifted the requirement that vistors to the United States and returning Americans must test negative for Coronavirus before boarding a flight. The end of the testing mandate is official on 12:01am on Sunday. That means no scrambling for a place to test before departure or carrying those proctored kits in our bags. Your mileage may vary, of course. The CDC offers some details. Here are today's other developments:
        Thursday strength   The TSA says 2,371,014 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's nearly 150,000 more than last Wednesday and 88.6% of 2019 volume.
        Hotel unhappiness   U.S. hotels registered an average occupancy of 63.2% for the week ending June 4. That's a not insubstantial 12-point drop from the similar post-Memorial Day week in 2019. But the average daily rate we paid was up more than 11%, however.
        No no Norway   Trains in Eastern Norway will be hit by a strike on Tuesday, June 14. English-language Web site has details.
        Spicy shortage   It's come to this: Even Sriarcha will be in short supply this summer. (A pro tip: Try Cholula Sauce, the top-notch Mexican product that sports the bulbous, wood-like cap.) NBC News has details.

Summer Travel Update: Thursday, June 9, 2022

I warned you that Bill Franke was the devil, but I'm sure many of you thought I was simply throwing some purple prose at the man trying to merge Frontier and Spirit Airlines. But consider the outburst from the chief executive of Wizz Air, Franke's European carrier. Wizz Air CEO József Váradi told pilots that everyone was “fatigued” and that the number of pilots on sick leave cost the airline too much in compensation payouts. He bluntly tells pilots they should fly even if they are fatigued because, apparently, Wizz profits are more important than safety. Read more of the disgusting details. Here are today's other developments:
        Miami misery   During an otherwise placid day flying around the United States, American Airlines has already cancelled 5% (191 flights) of its schedule today as of 5pm ET. The largest problems seem to be at its hub in Miami.
        Wednesday rebound   The TSA says 2,155,747 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's 85.9% of 2019 volume.
        Almost there ... unfortunately   The average price of a regular gallon of gasoline in the United States is $4.97 today, according to the AAA. With nearly two dozen states already reporting an average price above $5, a nationwide $5-a-gallon average seems only days away.
        Flashpoint Scandinavia   The pilots at money-losing SAS Scandinavia have authorized strike action against the flag carrier of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Job actions could begin as early as late this month. Reuters has details.
        Flashpoint Germany   Lufthansa and its Eurowings subsidiary have slashed more than 1,000 flights from their July schedules. Most of the cancellations are intra-European flights and are focused on weekends. MarketWatch has details.

Summer Travel Update: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

It's still full-on Coronavirus chaos as China doggedly pursues its "zero Covid" policy with draconian measures. But there is some good news: Restrictions were lifted in Beijing and locals celebrated by packing local restaurants for a meal with friends and family. Agence France-Presse has details. Yet bad news never ends in Shanghai. The city will shut down a district of more than 2.5 million people to conduct mass Covid testing. That's about 10% of the city's population. AFP also has those distressing details. Here are today's other developments:
        Slow down   The TSA says 2,052,377 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's a few thousand lower than last Tuesday and just 84.3% of 2019 volume, well off some May travel days that were running at 90+%.
        Flashpoint Madrid   The Spanish government says it is hiring more staff to handle increased passenger volumes at Madrid and other airports in the country. Madrid-based Iberia Airlines claims around 15,000 travelers missed their flights since March due to delays at passport control stations in Barajas Airport. More details are here.
        It's bad all over   OAG, the airline-industry schedulekeeper says it has tracked a notable surge in cancellations around Europe in recent weeks. Its analysis of the data is here.
        From spas to spies   The airport-massage chain XpressSpa shut all its outlets at the beginning of the pandemic. It then reemerged as XpressTest, which offered Covid tests instead of massages and nail treatments. Turns out the change had the blessing of the CDC, which has used the airport testing operations as the tip of the spear in search of infections and new variants. Bloomberg News has details.

Summer Travel Update: Tuesday, June 7, 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived an intra-party threat to his position last evening. Yet 40% of his own Tory party members of Parliament voted against him in a private, but official, test of leadership. He's committed a host of individual sins (h/t A Comet Appears), but the Tory backbenchers seem most concerned by Partygate. That's the sobriquet applied to Johnson formulating Covid quarantine and stay-at-home rules and then breaking them at will at 10 Downing Street, his home and official seat of the Prime Minister and staff. Here are today's other developments:
        Slow burn   The TSA says 2,279,743 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's a few thousand lower than last week's Memorial Day, but just 86.2% of 2019 volume, a half-dozen points down from last Monday.
        Sacre bleu!   Unions with large representations at Paris/CDG and Paris/Orly airports plan job actions on June 8 and June 9. Air France says it will pre-cancel some flights and the airport authorities say as many as 25% of scheduled service has been cancelled.
        Bollocks!   Rail workers in Britain are threatening three days of strikes on June 21, 23 and 25. The job actions would cripple much of the nation's rail network and the London Underground. The Guardian has details.
        Let's get small   Having trouble finding service to the smaller cities you once flew into with relative ease? Blame the pilot shortage, which has almost everything to do with regional-jet aviators being paid a pittance. (The industry has approximately 7 million excuses, of course.) The Wall Street Journal has details.

Summer Travel Update: Monday, June 6, 2022

Pity poor Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister and Putin lapdog. He couldn't fly to Serbia, one of Russia's few European allies, because no country would grant overflight rights on the Moscow-Belgrade route. "The unthinkable has happened," he complained. And he was referring to his blocked flight, not Russia's invasion of Ukraine because, you know, he's a warped asshat. Agence France-Presse has more of Lavrov's frothing and other details. Here are today's other developments:
        Small fall   The TSA says that 6.7 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). That's around 200,000 more than the previous weekend. But it's 88.8% of comparative volume on a similar weekend in 2019 and slightly less than the previous weekend.
        Flashpoint Amsterdam   Conditions were so awful over the weekend in Amsterdam that KLM stopped flying some passengers into and out of its hometown and hub (see below). But the planes kept operating. The Web site claims as many as 50 KLM aircraft deadheaded it back to Schiphol over the weekend.
        Business v. leisure travel   Hyatt says business travel continues to be down compared to 2019. In May, it said, independent business travel was off 35% and group business fell 12% compared to May, 2019. But leisure travel was almost back to normal and leisure revenue was up 18% compared to May, 2019.
        The BIG hurt   The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.865, says the AAA. Yes, that is another record. If you want to torture yourself, consider: AAA says the average price was $3.051 a year ago today.

Summer Travel Update: Weekend, June 4-5, 2022

Wondering why the United States still requires pre-departure testing before entering the country? It's complicated since testing is now at the confluence of national politics, health care, bureaucracy and travel industry greed. Healthline offers a deep dive on the specifics. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        The dike explodes in Amsterdam   Very un-Dutch delays, long lines and chaos at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport created an unprecedented situation: KLM stopped flying some passengers into and out of its hub. The mass cancellations of European flights were effective all day Saturday and, naturally, created a ripple of problems on Sunday, too.
        Happy happy joy joy   Alaska Airlines is just roaring along this summer. It claimed "sustained strong demand" and expects its second quarter revenue to be up 12-14% against 2019 even though it is flying 7-9% less capacity.
        The American way  American Airlines also claims record business. The airline had updated its second quarter guidance and now expects revenue to be 11-13% higher than 2Q 2019. That is three points higher than earlier projections.

Summer Travel Special Report: May 28-June 3

Read all about the summer chaos! U.S. airlines cancel thousands of flights over Memorial Day weekend led by Delta Air Lines' massive schedule dump. The unofficial start of summer was no better elsewhere as airports in London, Dublin, Stockholm, Manchester and Tel Aviv were hit with very long lines and longer waits for passengers. Even railroads are stressed as Eurostar melts down after several cancelled trains. Italy ends its last Covid-inspired entry rules. American Airlines says it handled 2.3 million flyers over Memorial Day Weekend. JetBlue delays launch of Boston-London service. Delta expands revenue prediction despite its service woes. And more. Click here for the updates.

2022 Daily Coronavirus Updates

Covid is still with us, but Americans seem to have checked out. The death toll surpassed one million by May and the vaccine rate remained low, yet leisure travelers began to flock back to the road in numbers much like 2019. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2022's archives.

2021 Daily Coronavirus Updates

The year began with hope and vaccines. It ended with Omicron, new lockdowns and restrictions that foiled plans for a return to the "normal" of travel. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2021's archives.

2020 Daily Coronavirus Updates

We began day-by-day tracking of the Coronavirus' effect on travel in late January last year. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2020's archives.