I thought I was done writing about my vacation. Apparently, not.
“Flightmare,”it’s being called. According to the travel website Afar, U.S. airlines canceled “throngs” of flights on Friday. This, after canceling 1700 on Thursday.
It’s a mess. Trust me, a mess. We made it from Italy to JFK with no problem. Once in New York, you could see that things were bad. Long lines of people rebooking flights. Long lines of people trying to get through security.
First, our flight was delayed by an hour-and-a-half. The flight attendants waiting with us at the gate at JFK said the pilot was on the way from LaGuardia. Uh?
Next, the flight was canceled all together. I guess the ride from LaGuardia was longer than anticipated.
So, we decided to rebook and spend the night. This is Friday night. 9:30pm. The best we could do was Sunday morning at 7am.
You know, we could have had a meltdown. Instead, we used a little Stoic philosophy. Why get upset with something so out of your control?
It had been a perfect vacation. Why not stretch it out a few more days? There are worse places to be stuck than New York City.
Our luggage however, was not with us. It made it to Tampa on Saturday morning. Let me just say this… always keep some clean underwear in your carry on.
Our situation is but one example of a much bigger problem. Summer travel is going to be a big, fat mess. That Afar article I referred to breaks it down:
“Airlines are struggling with shortages of workers, especially pilots, which are hurting their ability to operate all their planned flights. Pilot unions at Delta, American, and Southwest have said their airlines were too slow to replace pilots who retired or took leaves of absence during the early part of the pandemic.”
Now, the government is involved. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline CEO’s. He told NBC News, “I let them know that this is a moment when we are really counting on them to deliver reliably for the traveling public.”
Travel is back. People want to go somewhere. I can’t tell you the number of Americans we came across in Italy. Seriously, Americans everywhere.
As I write this, I’m in my hotel room in New York City. Early wake up call tomorrow to get to La Guardia. Then, home to Tampa.
I’m still relying on that Stoic philosophy to get me through this. Why get upset at something you can’t control?
I’ll let you know how that plays out tomorrow. For now, I’m just hoping that this “Flightmare” is over.