Summer Special Report
July 9 to July 15, 2022
Read all about the summer chaos! U.S. airports were busier last weekend than over Fourth of July. Delta cancelled more than 4,000 flights during a six-week period in May and June. U.S. dollar reaches parity with the euro. Canada will resume random mandatory Covid testing for arriving flyers. London/Heathrow Airport caps daily passenger traffic and demands carriers cancel flights, but Emirates Airline says it won't comply. As many as 10% of domestic bags at Sydney, Australia's busiest airport, are mishandled. KLM continues to dump flights and bar ticket sales at Schiphol airport as Icelandair flies its own baggage handlers into Amsterdam. The price of gasoline in the United States is down 44 cents in a month. And more.
Summer Travel Update: Friday, July 15, 2022
Despite all the hype, travel is still
well below 2019 levels. But it's a different story if you're a warm-weather destination. The Dominican Republic, for instance, hosted 644,861 international travelers in June, 9.8% higher than in 2019 and 9.9% higher than in 2018. Meanwhile, in Greece, 5.9 million passengers passed through the country's airports in May. That's a 3.4% increase over May, 2019, the government tourist office says. Here are today's other developments:
How does a train derailment outside Calgary end up causing chaos for Calgary-based WestJet? It's another mystery of this summer, where train issues cause air traffic control troubles. According to FlightStats.com, more than 500 WestJet mainline and commercial flights were delayed yesterday due to the mess. That's 70% of the carrier's systemwide schedule. The CBC has some other details
The TSA says 2,387,231 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It represents 87.9% of the volume on a similar Thursday in 2019.
Italy being Italy
Italy is getting back to normal. You can tell because the Prime Minister has resigned, the taxi drivers are striking nationwide and Sunday is likely to be an awful day at the airport. That's when some air traffic controllers are due to strike and Italy pilots and flight attendants at three carriers--EasyJet, Volotea and Ryanair--are planning job actions. The Local, an English-language site has details
Meanwhile, in the animal kingdom
Rowdy the Cat has been eluding his Boston/Logan stalkers for weeks after he escaped from a pet carrier following a flight from Germany. But nothing is forever. Rowdy has been nabbed and returned to his grateful owners. The Associated Press has details
After a rip-roaring Fourth of July, the nation's hotels came back to earth this week. Average nationwide occupancy was just 63.3% for the week ended July 9 compared to a similar period in 2019, says lodging statisticians STR. Average daily rates were up nearly 16%, however.
Just like living in paradise III
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.577, says the AAA. It means prices have fallen nearly 44 cents from the record high set on June 14. Cue up David Lee Roth one more time.
Summer Travel Update: Thursday, July 14, 2022
Covid-is-not-over file: Canada will resume mandatory random testing for travelers arriving by air. The policy was suspended on June 11, but will resume July 19 for fully vaccinated people who fly into Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. The good news? Testing can be completed off-airport by appointment. Here
is the announcement from Canada's Public Health Agency. Here are today's other developments:
Not so slow
The TSA says that 2,166,953 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It represents 85.9% of the volume on a similar Wednesday in 2019.
Blue jay way
This is not directly related to Canada's decision to reinstate random arrival testing, but 10 members of baseball's Kansas City Royals will not travel to Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays that starts tonight. The reason? They have not been vaccinated against Covid. The New York Times
Heathrow stinks--and so will we
Emirates Airline is raging at London/Heathrow Airport's decision to cap traffic at 100,000 daily passengers and order carriers to cut flights. (See below.) The Dubai-based carrier says it will not comply since the problem is totally due to Heathrow's inability to hire staff and unwillingness to manage traffic effectively. It means Emirates is prepared to continue flying its customers into a subpar situation. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal
covers what it calls 12 hours of misery
at Heathrow, complete with long delays, heavy cancellations and lost baggage. One of those cancelled segments, Delta Flight 17, was due to operate between Heathrow and Detroit. But after passengers were barred, Delta deadheaded the Airbus A330 back to Detroit and filled the cargo hold with as many as 1,000 mishandled bags. David Slotnick has those details
Cyprus masks up again
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is bringing back compulsory mask-wearing amid a surge of Covid infections. The Associated Press has details
Just like living in paradise II
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.605, says the AAA. It means prices have fallen more than 40 cents from the record high set on June 14. Cue up David Lee Roth again.
Summer Travel Update: Wednesday, July 13, 2022
How bad has it gotten at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, once regarded as the best and most reliable hub in Europe? Icelandair is flying in its own baggage handlers to help passengers get luggage in a timely manner when they arrive in Amsterdam. RUV, the Icelandic national broadcasting service, has the details
. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says that 2,062,952 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It's the lowest one-day volume since June 7 and represents 84.3% of the volume on a similar Tuesday in 2019.
The spoils of spoiled service
Delta Air Lines says it cancelled more than 4,000 flights in a six-week period during May and June. Did DL passengers penalize the incompetence? The carrier today reported a second-quarter profit of $735 million, so I'm thinking the answer is no. The Associated Press has details
, including chief executive Ed Bastian's non-apology apology for the lousy service and his decision to take federal bailout money to keep staff working but urge employees to take buyouts and depart.
Lufthansa keeps chopping
Lufthansa has lopped another 2,000 flights off its published schedules through the end of August. This is atop the already implemented cancellations previously announced.
London calling--and you won't like it
London room rates reached all-time highs--an average daily rate of 209 pounds--in the month of June, according to STR, the lodging industry statisticians.
Just like living in paradise ...
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.631, says the AAA. Prices have fallen every day for the last month and are now off 38 cents from the record high set on June 14. Cue David Lee Roth.
Summer Travel Update: Tuesday, July 12, 2022
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was the first to withdraw today (local time) from the Conservative Party procedure to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Which goes to show you that transportation policy is not the path to political power. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says that 2,292,793 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. Daily volume has been above 2 million travelers every day since June 5. It represents 87.6% of the volume on a similar Monday in 2019.
When in doubt, inconvenience travelers
Heathrow Airport in London has capped its daily traffic at 100,000 departing travelers, about 4,000 below its current number and well below its actual capacity. But, of course, Heathrow hasn't hired enough workers post-pandemic to handle the traffic. Airlines will be required to cut flights through September, according to SkyNews
. OAG, the industry schedulekeepers, says the daily cap will have a substantial impact on airline revenue
The China syndrome
The big news this week was that China basically locked down Macau, the gambling hub. But it is also essentially locking down three other cities and imposing mass testing in its endless attempt to justify the "zero covid" policy. The New York Times
Your daily reminder
Indignantly claiming "Do you know who I am?" at airports doesn't work. The brother of deposed Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa found that out as he tried to fly out of the country. Reuters has details
Summer Travel Update: Monday, July 11, 2022
Travel costs are skyrocketing everywhere, but here's a silver lining. The U.S. dollar reached parity with the euro, meaning one greenback buys one euro. The dollar is also rising against the British pound (1 pound=US$1.19), the Japanese yen and other global currencies. Here are today's other developments:
True to form
Despite the intense media focus on Fourth of July weekends, flying is often busier on the weekend after. So it was this year. The TSA says that 6.8 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). That's about 100,000 more than the Fourth of July weekend. It is 88.9% of the volume on a similar weekend in 2019.
Happy days (kinda, sorta)
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.678, says the AAA. That's down 13 cents from a week ago and off 34 cents from the record high set on June 14.
It's Heathrow in summer
London/Heathrow Airport asked three carriers--British Airways, Air France and Virgin Atlantic--to cancel about 60 fights today. Apparently, Heathrow didn't know that its job as an airport was to handle flights. The last-minute cancellations may have affected as many as 10,000 passengers. The Guardian
Triple the pain
Scotland's two leading airports--Edinburgh and Glasgow--are experiencing an upsurge in last-minute flight cancellations. In some cases, the cancel rate is triple the 1% last-minute rate experienced in 2019, the pre-pandemic bellwether. The Scotsman
As many as 10% of checked bags at Sydney's domestic terminal are being mishandled. A staff shortage--and a chaotic conversion to third-party baggage handlers--seems to be fueling the problem. The details
Summer Travel Update: Weekend, July 9-10, 2022
How badly are things going at SAS Scandinavian, where pilots are striking and the carrier has declared bankruptcy in a U.S. court? A deal between airline management and pilots to operate special charter flights to ferry home stranded passengers has fallen apart. No additional "rescue" flights will operate. The Local Norway, an English-language site, has details
. Here are this weekend's other developments.
Add Transavia to the list of potentially striking airlines. The low-fare carrier of Air France and KLM, and a code-share partner of Delta Air Lines, has been warned by a flight attendants union that job actions are possible through mid-September. Bloomberg News has details
Pilots at Ryanair's French unit are planning to strike on July 23 and July 24. That will affect most Ryanair flights at Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Beauvais airports.
So much for Dutch efficiency
You know things are falling apart because KLM and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam are a complete mess this summer. The airline now says it'll also cancel as many as 20 roundtrips a day through late August and won't sell tickets on other flights to ensure displaced passengers will have a chance to find alternate seats. The Wall Street Journal
Summer Travel Special Report: July 2-July 8
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. Click here
for the updates.
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