If you’re flying this summer, buckle up.
Driving the news: Airlines, aviation officials and the Transportation Security Administration are all telegraphing an alarming message for travelers: Flying is shaping up to be an absolute nightmare, Axios’ Alex Fitzpatrick reports.
- A potential record number of travelers will likely pass through the country’s airports this summer, TSA administrator David Pekoske told Bloomberg.
Why it matters: It’s unusual for all these powers that be to hint so loudly that we’re in for a rough few months — and travelers would be wise to heed their warnings.
By the numbers: San Antonio International Airport officials expect more than 3 million travelers over this year’s 12-week summer travel season, which starts later this month and ends in mid-August, airport spokesperson Erin Rodriguez tells Axios.
- Last year, the summer travel season saw around 2.3 million passengers, per monthly airport reports.
Flashback: The latest Southwest Airlines snafu, in which data connection issues briefly halted departures, is a reminder of how quickly a relatively small problem can cause big headaches.
Meanwhile, several major airlines are trimming summertime service amid concerns about staffing levels.
Zoom in: San Antonio airport officials are preparing for the busy season by creating overflow parking, adding shuttle buses and adjusting schedules as needed, Rodriguez says.
The big picture: Airport traffic in San Antonio has continued its steady rebound from the pandemic.
- More than 862,000 people flew through San Antonio International in March, according to airport figures, a 10% increase from March 2022.
- Flights were up 31% in January and 20% in February compared to the same months last year.
The bottom line: If you have plans to fly this summer, get to the airport early, prepare for delays and cancellations, and have a Plan B — and maybe C and D — ready.