Ahead of what’s already shaping up to be a busy summer travel season, several airlines canceled thousands of flights as they deal with ongoing staffing challenges.
“We are in the middle of a big pilot shortage,” said Lousson Smith, a product operations specialist for Scott’s Cheap Flights. “We have flight attendant shortages. On the ground we have vacancies in ground crew and check-in staff … So across the board, the airline industry is really suffering from a lack of bodies to kind of fill these jobs.”
Smith says travelers are likely to have fewer flight options, and that the average fare is starting to creep up.
“The good news is cheap flights are not gone forever,” he said. “The bad news is they’re pretty much gone for the summer.”
To get the best deal, Smith recommends booking at least a few months in advance, so now is the time to plan a fall or summer getaway. If you don’t want to wait, Smith says you may want to consider international destinations.
“You can actually find more bang for your buck by heading overseas, in any direction,” he said. “Flights to Europe, they’re not necessarily on sale but they’re a lot cheaper than they usually are during the summer months.”
If an airline cancels your flight and you don’t want to travel anymore, you are entitled to a refund. You can read more about the Department of Transportation’s rules regarding flight delays and cancellations here.
When it comes to flight delays, each airline has specific policies on what they will do for you. You can read more about the policies of a specific airline, by clicking on their Contract of Carriage in the links below.