Summer Special Report
July 2 to July 8, 2022
Read all about the summer chaos! Traffic at U.S. airports over the holiday weekend was lower than expected and delays and cancellations seemed manageable. The dollar is almighty again in Europe. U.S. airlines are operating 12% fewer flights this summer compared to 2019. SAS Scandinavia declares bankruptcy after pilots strike. French airports and railroads are hit with strikes. British Airways slashes nearly 12,000 flights from its schedules. Lisbon Airport is back to its pre-pandemic chaos. Average gasoline prices in the United States have dropped 25 cents per gallon since mid-June. China opens a window to Hong Kong, but locks down Macau. And more.
Summer Travel Update: Friday, July 8, 2022
If you're analyzing the herd looking to replace Boris Johnson as the British prime minister, you might recognize this name: Grant Shapps. He is currently Transport Secretary and is expected to announce his leadership bid over the weekend. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says 2,238,917 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It is 85.8% of volume on a comparative day in 2019.
Down goes Macau
Macau on Saturday (local time) announced a weeklong shutdown of its casinos and nonessential businesses. Residents must remain in their homes for a week, beginning July 11 (local time). Agence France-Press has details
Face masks will no longer be required at seaports and airports on the popular Portuguese island of Madiera in the Atlantic.
A firefighters strike at Paris/CDG and Paris/Orly airports, which somehow led to a large number of mishandled baggage and many flight cancellations, has ended. The strike began June 30.
Like a stone, baby ...
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.721, says the AAA. That's down 3 cents from yesterday.
Summer Travel Update: Thursday, July 7, 2022
Partygate, breaking the Covid lockdown rules he himself promulgated, did not bring down British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But a host of other individual lies and sins have. He announced this afternoon (local time) that he would step down. The timing remains at issue, however. Here are today's other developments:
Flying slows down
The TSA says 2,124,230 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It is 84.5% of volume on a comparative day in 2019. That's the lowest comparative volume of the month so far, not surprising given the Fourth of July rush.
Thinning the skies
The 11 largest U.S. airlines are operating 12% fewer flights this summer compared to 2019 schedules. Bloomberg News has details
It's been worse
U.S. airlines paid an average of $3.90 a gallon for jet fuel during the month of May. That's still 20 cents a gallon below the all-time high of $4.10 set in 2008.
China opens a Hong Kong window
China's puppet government in Hong Kong suspended a rule banning individual flights for carrying passengers infected with the Coronavirus. The government says the rule caused "unnecessary trouble" and inconvenience. Reuters has the details
It's almost paradise ...
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.752, says the AAA. That's down 2.7 cents from yesterday. It's also 25 cents below the record high set on June 14.
Strikes on and off
British Airways is having its usual summer meltdown and is trying to clear backlogs by cutting about 12,000 flights from the remainder of its seasonal schedule. It's also battling strike threats. One (by airport check-in clerks) seems to have been settled. But another, by refueling workers at London/Heathrow, is still scheduled for July 21 and may last 72 hours. Plan accordingly.
Summer Travel Update: Wednesday, July 6, 2022
China is not giving up on its "zero Covid" policy, which has led to tens of millions of citizens locked down for weeks at a time. Latest news: Xi'an, a city of 13 million best-known as the home of terracotta warriors, is now locked down. That means citizens and the soldiers. Agence France-Presse has details
. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says that 2,194,459 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It is 87.5% of volume on a comparative day in 2019. It's also a higher count than passed through airports on Sunday and Monday.
More summer, more chaos in England
British Airways yesterday preemptively cancelled 1,500 flights. Today, it's another 10,000 flights through October. That means the airline has dumped 13% of its published summer schedule, which runs through October. RFI radio has details
Traffic over the last seven days reached an average of 30,696 flights per day in Europe's skies, according to Eurocontrol, which operates the continent's air traffic control. That is 87% of 2019 traffic.
You can get there from here ...
Dawn Gilbertson, the new travel columnist of The Wall Street Journal
, plotted a complicated itinerary over Fourth of July. Surprisingly, all her flights operated. Not surprisingly, she faced lines for everything. Here is her report
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.779, says the AAA. That's down about two cents from yesterday.
Summer Travel Update: Tuesday, July 5, 2022
The television networks have stuck to the narrative of a lost weekend for travel, but flying wasn't actually that bad. There were fewer passengers than expected, many fewer cancellations (just 254 nationwide on Monday) and 3,900 delays. That last number is no fun, but compared to what was predicted ... Here are today's other developments:
Rolling an 11
The TSA says that 11.3 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints over the official (Thursday to Monday) Fourth of July weekend. Friday was the busiest day (nearly 2.5 million flyers) and yesterday was the lightest (about 2 million) flying day.
There'll always be summer chaos in England
British Airways has preemptively cancelled another 1,500 summer flights in a desperate bid to control the chaos at Heathrow and other airports. This move is atop the 10% cut from April-to-October schedules initiated earlier this year. BBC News has the details
The bankruptcy strike
Management at SAS Scandinavia had long warned it would declare bankruptcy if staff of the money-losing carrier did not make concessions or went on strike. Just hours after 900 SAS pilots walked off the job yesterday, SAS filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. courts. The airline cancelled more than 75% of flights worldwide today, according to FlightStats.com.
Oligarchs and other super-wealthy Russians were most likely to point their private jets to Paris, Milan and Geneva. But that was before the invasion of Ukraine and the West's imposition of sanctions. Where are the jets headed now? Dubai, long seen as a friendly haven for dirty Russian dough. The New York Times
The almighty dollar returns
The Euro is now selling for about US$1.03, its lowest level since the currency was introduced in 2002. That's a sure cure for European inflation--you know, if you are a visiting Yankee.
Some French airport workers are already on strike. Tomorrow they will be joined by French railroad workers. About half of the country's inter-city rail services and regional commuter lines are likely to be cancelled.
Summer Travel Update: Monday, July 4, 2022
Today is the Fourth of July and America celebrated with what it now seems to do best: a mass shooting. At least six people were killed and two dozen injured when a gunman opened fire on an Independence Day Parade in Highland Park, Illinois. Puts the travel crisis in perspective, eh? Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says that 6.7 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). That's about 350,000 less than the previous weekend and it is 92.1% of the volume on a similar weekend in 2019. It's not the mad rush of travelers some experts predicted.
Bad times in Scandinavia
After days of fruitless talks, pilots at SAS Scandinavian Airlines went on strike today (local time). The airline expects that half of its flights will be scrubbed.
Grounded in Australia
Massive flooding near Sydney Airport is playing havoc with flight operations there. Lines were stretching out the door for the third consecutive day. The Guardian
Lisbon is Lisbon
Before the pandemic, Lisbon Airport was overwhelmed with passengers and flights landing at distant bus gates. Now the chaos is back. More than 100 flights were dumped over the weekend and flyers were stuck in long baggage and security lines. Euronews has details
Progress is progress
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.80, says the AAA. That's down 21 cents from the record high set on June 14. Progress is progress ...
Summer Travel Update: Weekend, July 2-3, 2022
For the first time since January, 2019, global scheduled airlines plan to operate more than 100 million passenger seats this upcoming week. Industry's schedulekeeper OAG has details
. Here are this weekend's other developments.
Bump in the low-level chaos
Weekend travel in the United States has gone (comparatively) better than expected. Cancellations are low and delays are not as widespread as predicted. But there's always a bump. There was an emergency evacuation at Terminal 4 at New York/Kennedy on Sunday. It was caused by an unattended bag at T4, the airport's primary international terminal. The New York City TV station of NBC has details
Greater Anglia, a major English rail service, cancelled 90% of its trains on Saturday after a drivers strike. The BBC has details
Welcome back to Finland
All Covid entry restrictions have been dropped and travelers can now freely enter Finland again. Border testing requirements have also ended.
How the French do strikes
French airport workers have gone on strike and as many as 20% of flights at Paris/CDG, the country's major hub, were cancelled over the weekend. The job action started Friday and hit both CDG and Paris/Orly.
Summer Travel Special Report: June 11-June 17
Read all about the summer chaos! U.S. airports already have hosted 2 million travelers on 13 days this month. Bad weather causes massive cancellations on Thursday and Friday. The Bahamas drops pre-entry testing for fully vaccinated travelers. Canada ends vaccine mandate for flights, but mask mandate remains. Australia retains its in-flight mask mandate, but drops requirement for airports. Heathrow's boss warns it could take 18 months for airports to return to normal. Italy extends mask mandate for public ground transportation through September. Swiss air traffic control melts down. Lisbon will allow U.S. and Canadian travelers to use fast-entry gates to ease crowding. Europe aircraft traffic is at 85% of 2019 levels. And more. Click here
for the updates.
Summer Travel Special Report: June 4-June 10
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. Click here
for the updates.
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