Unfortunately, for us mere mortals, there’s little we can do beyond accepting flight delays and cancellations and adjusting our plans accordingly.
But if you happen to run the U.S. Department of Transportation, you have considerably more leverage. Specifically, you can use your authority to force airlines to meet consumer-protection standards which would include hiring additional staff to accommodate the post-pandemic uptick in air travel.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg held a virtual meeting with airline executives on Thursday to address the sharp increase in the number of flight delays and cancellations. The Washington Post reported that he asked them what steps they were taking to avoid a repeat of Memorial Day weekend when over 2,700 flights were cancelled.
NBC Nightly News played a clip of Buttigieg commenting outside the White House following his meeting with airline officials. “I let them know this is a moment when we are really counting on them to deliver reliably for the traveling public,” he said. “There is a lot of pent-up demand out there [for travel].”
NBC reported that air traffic in Florida has increased more than 100 percent over pre-pandemic levels. They noted an increase in the number of military and space flights had “further restricted airspace.”
Most airlines, according to NBC, are experiencing a shortage of pilots which is forcing them to “trim their schedules or park planes.” Much of the pro…