RVers can often avoid flying, but there are fabulous places around the world that require you to board a plane.
However, being a passenger on a plane is a different experience these days. The entire process can be stressful, hectic, and chaotic. It’s something we think you should avoid doing right now.
Today, we’re sharing five reasons you should reconsider flying right now.
Let’s get started!
Is It Safe to Fly Right Now?
Staying safe while traveling means a completely different thing now than before. While airport security often does a great job catching prohibited items, there’s nothing they can do to stop some dangers from boarding your flight. It’s no secret that since 2020, the world has been cautious of germs and viruses, especially in tightly enclosed spaces like airplanes.
For some individuals, flying can be incredibly unsafe in our current environment. While we’re not medical professionals and will never claim to be, we wouldn’t encourage anyone with a compromised immune system to put themselves in a potentially compromising situation. However, for many travelers, flying can be as safe now as it has been.
Why Is Flying Terrible Right Now?
With the stress of a global pandemic and travel restrictions, flying has been a dreadful experience over the past couple of years. You must have more documents or test results to board the plan. As a result, the stress levels of travelers are off the charts.
This has caused angry passengers, short-tempered flight crews, and a very volatile environment for everyone. However, there are many more reasons that we’ll share with you why flying is so terrible right now.
Pro Tip: Plan the ultimate adventure by using these tips on How to Use RV Trip Wizard to Revamp Your Travels.
5 Reasons to Avoid Flying in Right Now
If you’ve had the opportunity to fly recently, you’ve likely noticed some of the changes that have occurred in recent years. Let’s look at five reasons you may want to avoid flying right now. Let’s dive in!
1. Cost of Flights
Rising fuel prices have affected drivers at the pump and airlines. However, fuel costs are just one reason flight costs have risen drastically. There’s been a massive surge in demand as many travelers are finally getting comfortable traveling. When demand increases and there’s a limited supply, prices naturally will increase.
The Bureau of Transportation released data that reveals flights are 14% higher at some airports. Flights dropped drastically in 2020 but are returning to pre-pandemic levels. So unless you don’t mind paying a premium price, we’d put off travel plans that require flying for the foreseeable future.
2. Excessive Cancellations and Delays
If you thought cancellations and delays were a problem before, they’ve become way more common than travelers like. Chicago O’Hare International Airport had a rough weekend in August, where airlines canceled 12% of the flights out of the airport. For an airport that averages 2500+ flights per day, that’s a whole lot of angry and frustrated passengers.
These cancellations and delays don’t help the negative attitudes of travelers and even airline employees. Cancellations and delays are inconvenient for everyone and throw a major wrinkle in their plans. However, they’re somewhat standard in the industry, and it’s difficult to avoid them when flying.
3. Bad Customer Service
Airlines have been notorious for lackluster customer service in the past, but the current atmosphere has only amplified the bad customer service. Travelers often feel airlines lack communication and wait until the last minute to make changes or cancel their flights. This puts customers in a very bad position.
With so many changes and adjustments, there’s not much airlines can do to make it right. Travelers are often put on hold for extended amounts of time, which only adds to the bad customer service. There have even been reports of physical altercations between high-profile travelers and airline agents where the airline agent was the aggressor. Not the type of customer service travelers expect from airlines!
4. Airports Are Too Congested
With the increased demand for travel, airports have become overcrowded. Airports typically aren’t the most fun places in the world, but they get even worse when they’re congested. Expect to wait in line at the ticket counter, security checkpoint, and even the bathrooms before boarding the plane.
Getting from your vehicle to the seat on the plane is going to take longer and be more stressful due to the congestion. So make sure to pack your patience if you head to the airport.
5. Airline Staffing Issues
The worker shortage is hitting many industries, including the airline industry. The pandemic caused many airlines to downsize their staff and reduce flights. Although travelers have begun to return to traveling, airlines are having a hard time replacing the workers they let go during the pandemic.
Some reports state that airlines must hire 13,000 pilots this year and next year. The same report estimates it’ll take five years to deal with the staffing issues many airlines are experiencing.
Staffing issues mean longer lines at ticket counters, more lost luggage, and likely crankier flight crews. Many of the unions representing pilots state that mandatory overtime greatly impacts the pilots who continue to fly. The pilot we want to avoid flying our plane is an overworked and tired pilot. That’s not very comforting for passengers.
Which Airline Cancels the Most?
One great thing about data is that the numbers can give you a clearer picture of a situation. Unfortunately for American Airlines, the numbers aren’t in their favor. While they have completed 95% of their flights, they were the worst performer regarding cancellations for the summer of 2022.
American canceled 3.2% of their flights in May and topped that in June with 5.2% cancellations. If you’re looking for a good alternative, Southwest Airlines had the lowest cancellation rate of the “big four” airlines, with a roughly 1% cancellation rate.
Pro Tip: Ditch flying and try road tripping instead. But make sure to avoid these 5 Ways to Ruin Your Road Trip.
Is Flying Worth It Right Now?
Flying can allow you to reach some of the best destinations incredibly quickly. You can cross the entire country in hours instead of days. However, it doesn’t come without its stress and grievances. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time and come in with a good attitude if you have to fly.
Many of the workers are overworked and stressed beyond belief. A positive attitude can make their jobs easier and allow you to have a smoother experience at the airport.
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