Summer Travel
Will Be Tough

This is a vacation. It’s not supposed to be miserable.

Summer 2022 travel distruptions
Summer 2022 travel distruptions

Summer 2022 is being called the season of “revenge travel.” Since everyone's mad that their 2021 travel plans were cut short or completely ruined thanks to the pandemic, they're booking trips to make up for lost time.

But it's not going to be easy as travelers continue to face thousands of flight delays and cancellations, data shows. The Transportation Security Administration screened 2,490,490 passengers at airport security checkpoints Friday—the most since the pandemic began. And New York's JFK International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport had the highest rates of disruptions and dropped flights over the holiday weekend.

Delays and cancelations are almost double what they were last year and some industry executives don't see a meaningful improvement before fall when travel demand tends to slow down. Which means these damn staffing shortages and fewer flights will continue—leading to more disruptions and casting an ugly shadow over everyone's planned summer trips.

But it's not just flying. According to By the Way, travelers are also encountering high gas prices, pricey hotels and vacation rentals, and extreme weather events. (Of course, there's still the persistent threat of COVID hanging around too.) And even those who make it to their destination find that food, alcohol and recreation prices have shot up compared to last year and pre-pandemic times, too.

And if you can believe it, for all the mess domestic travelers are dealing with, many of those crossing the pond to Europe have had it worse. Crippling shortages of security officers, check-in agents and baggage handlers are causing chaos across the continent, compounded by rail and airline strikes.

Of course, if you do find yourself trapped in some version of travel hell, all is not lost. Travel experts advise knowing what you're entitled to in case you encounter a snafu. And negotiating can net you some serious rewards. InsideHook points out that a waiver is nice, but a $10,000 Visa gift card is even nicer. Which is good to know, because I'm the sucker who always ends up buying overpriced candy at Hudson News.

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Dig Deeper

The Verge examines how the TSA created two classes of travelers. (Honestly, whatever privacy I give up for my PreCheck, it’s worth it.)

How to Pack
for a Quick Trip

Weekender duffel bag
Weekender duffel bag

You probably need a change of scenery (and a luggage update). Here are the bags that will set you up for success no matter how long your trip is.