Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer travel season. School’s out, and the three-day weekend families allow to get a jump on heading out of town.
(Of course, we shouldn’t forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. My PJ Media colleague Rick Moran wrote a terrific column for our VIPs this morning about the history of the holiday. If you want to become a VIP so you can check out his column, click here.)
The pandemic put a damper on the last two summer travel seasons, so experts are predicting that 2022 could be the biggest travel season in three years. But we’re already seeing plenty of reminders that we’re living in Joe Biden’s America that could make summer travel more difficult.
For starters, we already know about how high gas prices are, and they’re not going down anytime soon. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is $4,593, up 10 cents from the week before and a whopping 40 cents from the beginning of the month. Let’s contrast that with the same time in 2021 when gas was $3.02 per gallon, in 2020 when Americans paid $1.96 for a gallon of gas, and in 2019 — the last “normal” summer travel season — when gas cost $2,822 per gallon.
Needless to say, if you’re driving for your summer vacation, you’ll need to figure more funds into your gas budget.
If you’re flying to your summer destination, you’re also going to see problems. the Associated Press reports that the ongoing labor shortage we’re seeing all across the country is rearing its ugly head in the airline industry as well.
“Many forecasters believe the number of travelers will match or even exceed levels in the good-old, pre-pandemic days,” writes the AP’s David Koenig. “However, airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did in 2019, and that has at times contributed to widespread flight cancellations.”
Another AP article details how major airlines are having to cancel flights even on a busy travel holiday weekend.
“Delta Air Lines suffered the most among US airlines, with more than 250 flights, or 9% of its operations, eliminated on Saturday,” explains Anne D’Innocenzio. “Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, where Delta is based and has its largest hub, experienced heavy travel delays. On Saturday, 5% of the flights there were canceled, while 16% were delayed.”
Of course, the canceled flights and other labor-related problems combined with skyrocketing jet fuel costs are prompting airlines to raise ticket prices.
The cost of a domestic airline ticket is 24% higher than it was in 2019 and an astonishing 45% above where it was this time last year. International flights are only up by about 10% over pre-pandemic prices.
“Airlines blame the steeper fares on jet fuel roughly doubling in price over 2019,” notes Koenig. “It’s more than that, however. The number of flights has not returned to pre-pandemic levels even though demand for travel is surging.”
It’s not entirely fair to blame every bit of these travel sticker shocks on the Biden administration, but we all know that the policies of those currently in power have done quite a bit toward making our summer travel plans a little more burdensome than they’ve been. before. Maybe we’ll start to see more of those “I DID THAT!” stickers all over the nation this summer.
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