Just as the airline industry is bouncing back and thousands of people head out of town for summer vacations, flights are being canceled or routes are being changed. The problem is, the airlines aren’t giving much warning.
At Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), security lines are long, flights are full and passengers are well aware.
“It was completely full, completely for Southwest, gone back to all three seats and so you know, it’s back to normal,” said Janet Kaiser, visiting from Baltimore for “girls week.”
People are still anxious to travel but one of the most sought-after destinations is Southwest Florida.
Sadly, the airlines might not be ready for the travel rush. American Airlines says the surge in demand, coupled with bad weather across the country and labor shortages, has caused them to change and cancel flights through mid-July.
American isn’t the only airline experiencing this. When Kaiser went to book her flight with Southwest, she chose the 7:30 flight instead of the 8:45 flight, but then, the airline combined both flights.
“I got a notice that the flight has been changed,” she said. So, she ended up having to change it again.
Jennifer Shaw went through the same scenario when she tried to book a flight with United. She’s visiting from Beaumont, Texas. “So the whole time of it was thrown off. I had an 11:25 flight, then we received an email a few days before we were leaving that moved us to a 6:30 a.m. flight,” she said. “And then I went into the United website and changed the flight to this 4:05 flight that we’re taking today.”
Travel agents say that rebooking passengers is taking up most of their time right now since the airlines are continuing to rearrange schedules to fly to places they were not flying to during the pandemic.
“But I think that’s just the nature of what we’re living in right now. They’re trying to pack flights and instead of flying aircraft that are half-full, they’re packing everybody into one,” Kaiser said.
Make sure to keep an eye on your trip and if you are booking a flight, book one with a flexible change or refund policy.
And, if airlines do change the flight on you, know that you are entitled to a full refund.