The TSA expects to screen nearly 18 million travelers between June 29 and July 5 while storms forecast in several parts of the country increase the likelihood of cancelations or delays.
While the Biden administration has been working to make it harder for airlines to get out of offering travelers refunds, rescheduling a flight at a time when thousands also need to do the same is no easy task — airline call centers are busy for hours while some travelers have photographed lines for the help counter stretching across the terminal.
Come And Drown Your Travel Sorrows With Us, Restaurant Says
While the airport lounge has long been a place for stranded passengers to drown their sorrows, one restaurant chain is capitalizing on this frustration by giving out free booze.
Bahama Breeze, a chain of island-style restaurants with locations both at airports and within cities, launched its “Flight for a Flight” promotion that gives those who can show that their trip was canceled a free flight of margaritas.
The promotion is available between July 1 and 8 at locations in Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. and offer one-ounce margarita drinks of the restaurant’s classic, dragon fruit and coconut-pineapple versions.
“With summer travel well underway, we know nothing ruins the ‘vacation vibes’ like last-minute flight cancelations,” the restaurant said in promotional material for the offer. “That’s why we’re giving you the Island escape you deserve and can always find here.”
The key factor that will make the offer attractive to customers is that they do not have to order anything else from the menu in order to qualify — it is enough to come in, show proof of a canceled flight through a text, email or screencap from the airline, and get the flight of drinks while waiting for one’s actual flight to be rescheduled.
This Is Why You’re Seeing So Many Canceled Flights This Summer
After the pandemic ground travel to a halt in 2020 and prompted airline layoffs, the industry has been struggling to rehire fast enough to meet demand from people taking long put-off trips in 2022 and 2023.
A shortage of staff ranging from pilots to check-in clerks and baggage handlers has created bottlenecks in many airports during some of the year’s busiest periods.
Another complication that can cause flight delays will occur when, on July 1, wireless carriers such as Verizon (VZ) – Get Free Report and AT&T (T) – Get Free Report receive government clearance to increase their signals to 5G.
While approximately 80% of airplanes used by the country’s carriers have already been retrofitted to meet this change, those that have not will not be able to travel in certain low-visibility conditions that can interfere with the signals.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently said that this is “probably the biggest foreseeable problem affecting [airline] performance this summer.”
To prepare for these concurrent challenges, industry group Airlines for America said that U.S.-based airlines have already scaled back 10-15% of the flights originally planned for June and July in order to ensure that the ones that do go can run smoothly.