Since 2021, there have been on-and-off patches of airline flights running into serious problems. These problems cause cancellations and delays in flights, leaving people stranded at airports and potentially causing them to miss planned engagements.
Thus far, airlines claim that staffing shortages are causing these delays, along with air traffic control issues and bad weather. However, many consumers are drawing attention to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that was put through by airlines in 2021.
Airlines today scrapped these mandates. Nevertheless, the impact of the requirement thinned out the workforce in various airports. Now, airlines are feeling the pain accordingly.
To make matters even worse, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently confirmed that travel for July 4 isn’t going to go over so smoothly.
The Warning From the Transportation Secretary
Just this past Tuesday, Buttigieg spoke with NBC about what travel experiences Americans can expect during the upcoming holiday.
Buttigieg conceded that “challenges” will emerge with air travel. In spite of all the government aid airlines received, many of their vital workers also went into what the transportation official called “early retirement.”
Again, Buttigieg declined to mention the impact that vaccine mandates, which the Biden administration pushed heavily, had on people who left the workforce.
Is the July 4th holiday weekend set to be a disaster after recent travel chaos?
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg tells @LesterHoltNBC "there are going to be challenges" and he's watching the situation
He says we need a "resilient" system to get travelers to their destinations pic.twitter.com/vxElhbxUzz
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 28, 2022
According to the transportation secretary, the federal government is closely monitoring the situation and remains in direct contact with the nation’s airlines on a daily basis.
NBC News anchor Lester Holt then pointed out that with the $50 billion airlines received from the federal government, one would think they could avoid having to furlough people.
To this end, Buttigieg simply repeated that despite all the aid airlines received, many of the industry’s workers still found themselves “nudged” into leaving the workforce earlier than expected.
The Worst Issue For Airlines
Both airlines and the transportation secretary claim that shortages in pilots are what’s ultimately causing the greatest backlogs for flights.
Over the course of just this year alone, the demand for travel has surged exponentially. Meanwhile, the amount of available pilots isn’t keeping up.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with @LesterHoltNBC in an exclusive interview about challenges in the travel industry.
Secretary Buttigieg said that while some of these issues are "long term", others, such as a realistic schedule, should be delivered right away. pic.twitter.com/6l04XR0nBS
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 29, 2022
According to certain airlines, some pilots are actually on the job overtime as a means of deterring even more flights from being unable to transport people to their destinations.