Last night, Air Canada president Michael Rousseau announced that the airline would be making significant flight cut-back starting tomorrow and extending through the summer.
WHAT? Yes, like other airlines, they aren’t close to ready for the resumption of 2019 passenger volume and demand with a shortage in every position from call centres to pilots. That’s resulting in massive quantities of delays and flight cancellations. To help (not solve) the issue, airlines are reducing their flight schedule to match their current staffing levels. The alternative is the continuous chaos and massive delays experienced across North America every day. Last weekend, the hold time to contact Delta Airlines just to re-schedule a cancelled flight was 697 minutes. Do you have a cell plan or battery or the patience to sit at an airport and stay on hold for over 11 hours?
In May I thought I’d be able to resume my annual summer week in Phoenix. When I check a random week in August the airfare was double and a sub-compact car rental was quoting at $450! $1,100 just to get there and to get around? No chance. And don’t kid yourself: Economics 101 is that fewer flights mean (even) higher prices. And Westjet will immediately match (increase) their ticket prices to the same levels.
In the U.S. the airlines are hoping to get closer to some kind of reasonable normal by Thanksgiving. That’s in October! Be ready for a lot more pain, cost, and hassle with airline travel for some time to come. Or join me in sticking with staycations for this year…