Summer Special Report
August 13 to August 19, 2022
Read all about the summer chaos! U.S. airline traffic is finally slowing thanks to seasonal realities. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines continue to cut their schedules. Ugly police incidents at New York/LaGuardia, Las Vegas and Canberra, Australia. The skies may be safe, but American road deaths are the highest in 20 years. Strikes grind British rail network and London Underground to a halt. Apple wants employees back in the office next month. New York City's commuter railroads won't recover 2019 passenger counts for years. And more.

Summer Travel Update: Friday, August 19, 2022

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States today is $3.918. Prices have fallen every day since the record price of $5.016 was reached on June 14. This two-plus-month decline of slightly more than a dollar also tracks with an uptick in the approval rating of President Biden's job performance. Who knew cheaper gasoline was the opiate of the American masses? Here are today's other developments:
        A matter of perspective   Is your airport half-full or half-empty? Depends on how you look at the statistics. The TSA says that 2,320,885 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's the slowest total for a Thursday this month. But it represents 91.6% of the volume on a similar Thursday in 2019, which is higher than most days this month.
        There'll always be an England ... and rail strikes   Just a day after Thursday's strikes wiped out about 80% of Britain's commuter and longer-haul rail services, London's Underground workers hit the bricks. The Friday (local time) strike brought the British capital's transit network to a grinding halt. The AP has those details. Meanwhile, another rail strike is due Saturday and union leader Mick Lynch warned that dispute could go on "indefinitely." Railroad officials are urging travelers not to use railroads tomorrow except in emergencies.
        Scandinavian slowdown   Bankrupt SAS Scandinavian, which recently endured a multiday pilot strike, now says it has cancelled 1,700 flights originally scheduled for September and October. The reason? Staff shortages. has details.
        A bag of trouble   A passenger who took a carry-on bag flagged for secondary screening past a security checkpoint yesterday caused major disruptions at San Diego Airport. Thousands of flyers were evacuated from Terminal 2 and departures were halted until the man was found. Travelers were forced to clear security again when the terminal reopened and flights resumed. NBC7-TV in San Diego has details.
        Slightly more room at the inn   The nationwide average hotel occupancy rate fell to 68.5% for the week ended August 13, according to lodging statisticians STR. The average daily room rate was still 15.8% higher than during a similar week in 2019, however.

Summer Travel Update: Thursday, August 18, 2022

The CDC was "responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes, from testing to data to communications” during the pandemic. That criticism does not come from an anti-vaxxer or an anti-government zealot, but from Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, a well-regarded health expert. Oh, she also happens to be the CDC director. The navel-gazing is part of what she promises will be an agency-wide revamp. The New York Times has details. Here are today's other developments:
        The FBI ate its homework ... or something   It was an absolutely miserable day at New York's LaGuardia Airport yesterday. Forty percent of flights were delayed and 4% were cancelled. The excuse this time? "Law enforcement activity," which led to a brief ground stop last evening. Although no one will confirm it, the FBI apparently lost track of a fugitive who was roaming loose around the airport.
        What happens in Vegas (update)   More details about the disruption at Las Vegas Airport on Sunday (see below). Turns out a 33-year-old California man hurt two airline ticket agents. His excuse? He wanted to go home immediately, not on Monday. Worse, he'd been arrested on Saturday at LAS for jumping a security checkpoint. The AP has the weird details.
        Just another Wednesday   The TSA says that 2,044,346 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It represents 88.6% of the volume on a similar Wednesday in 2019. It's about where we've been for weeks in terms of comparative daily volume.
        So "cheap"   The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States today is $3.93, says the AAA. That's six cents below last Thursday, the first day since March that the price of gas fell below $4 a gallon.

Summer Travel Update: Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

The skies continue to be blessedly safe with no accidents of note and no fatalities. Not so the American roads. The first quarter of 2022 was the deadliest on American highways in 20 years, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Wall Street Journal has details. Here are today's other developments:
        The inevitable slowdown   The TSA says that 1,992,395 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. It's the first time since June 4 that daily passenger traffic fell below 2 million. This is not unexpected, however, since travel traditionally slows down in the second half of August as children return to school, essentially ending family summer vacation time.
        Call us in two years   Minneapolis-St. Paul officials estimate that pre-pandemic levels of traffic are still two years away at the hub of Delta Air Lines and the home of Sun Country Airlines. This year, the airport estimates traffic will finish at about 80% of 2019 passenger volume.
        Striking tales   Britain's rail networks will be in chaos again tomorrow and on Saturday, August 20. Only about 20% of Britain's rail network will run. The system will only be open from around 7:30am to 6:30pm. Network Rail, one of many organizations with a finger in the British railroad pie, has details.
        An apple three days a week   Apple set September 5 as the deadline for corporate employees to return to the office at least three days a week. The company has delayed its return-to-the-office plans several times during the tail end of the pandemic. Bloomberg News has details.

Summer Travel Update: Tuesday, August 16, 2022

From the this-isn't-over file: First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid. As you recall, President Biden tested positive in late July and then had a second bout earlier this month. The 71-year-old First Lady will isolate for five days and take a round of Paxlovid. Agence France-Presse has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Lower numbers   The TSA says that 2,232,631 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday, lower than previous Mondays in August. It represents 86.6% of volume on a similar Monday in 2019.
        American adjusts   American Airlines is slashing 31,000 flights from its November schedule. The cuts largely affect flights between its Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago hubs and between its Boston and Philadelphia hubs, according to schedule analysts Cirium. The move is atop 2% systemwide cuts in September and October. WCVB-TV in Boston has details.
        Delta deletes   Thanks to slot waivers granted by the FAA, Delta Air Lines has been cutting flights at its New York/Kennedy hub and its New York/LaGuardia domestic hub. It also received approval to trim flights to/from JFK and LaGuardia and Washington/National. DCA is also a slot-restricted airport. The waivers are effective through September 5.

Summer Travel Update: Monday, August 15, 2022

As it must to all pariah states, Russia is now mulling a program to cannibalize some aircraft for parts to keep its other Boeing and Airbus planes in the skies. Cut off from replacement parts by sanctions, Russian flag carriers have no other way to acquire needed equipment for repairs. details. Here are today's other developments:
        Slower, but ...   The TSA says that 6.75 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday), which is about 250,000 fewer than the previous weekend. However, it is 91.4% of the volume on a similar weekend in 2019, exactly the same as the previous weekend.
        What happens in Vegas ...   Very strange happenings at Las Vegas Airport where an "unruly person" on Sunday delayed flights during the day. The airport and local police denied shots were fired. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the sketchy and confusing details.
        The little engines that couldn't   New York City's commuter railroads--Metro North and the Long Island Rail Road--are rebounding much more slowly than predicted. According to the MTA, the state agency controlling the lines, its estimates that the railroads would reach 87% of 2019 levels by 2026 have been scaled back. The railroads will only reach 79% of 2019 levels in 2026. Early this month, Metro North, which serves riders north of Manhattan, handled just 58% of 2019 volume. The Highlands Current has details.

Summer Travel Update: Weekend, Aug. 13-14, 2022

Canada's hotel industry is finally rebounding after the pandemic and the country's strict travel rules. Nationwide average occupancy in June was 71.7%, down just 2.8 points from June, 2019. Average daily rates in June were up 8.8% compared to June, 2019. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        Shots fired   A gunman fired around five shots inside Canberra's main airport on Sunday (local time). Passengers fled, but no one was injured during the shooting spree, which is rare in Australia. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Striking again   Just days after EasyJet's Spanish division settled a disruptive strike by cabin crews, the airline's pilots went on strike Friday (local time). Pilots are seeking reversal of concessions they made to keep the airline flying during the pandemic. has details.
        Melting away   Cathay Pacific carried just 150,077 passengers in June, a decline of about 95% compared to June, 2019. The airline continues to be strangled by Hong Kong's draconian quarantine rules, which have destroyed Cathay's ability to operate a hub at its Hong Kong International Airport home.

Summer Travel Daily Special Reports

A post-pandemic increase in travelers, mindless overscheduling by European and American carriers and a dire shortage of workers--pilots, gate agents, flight attendants, baggage handlers, even air traffic controllers--has turned the summer travel season into madness. If it can go wrong, it has. With the notable exception of Asia, where traffic still lags far behind pre-pandemic levels, it's been a summer from hell. 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.