Culture

Airlines are preparing for another busy summer. Are they ready for it?


Alexandra Skores | (TNS) The Dallas Morning News

Carson Shofner and his husband were heading to Costa Rica for a relaxing trip on American Airlines on the morning of May 28.

But their plane didn’t leave Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport until May 29 at 7 a.m. It’s a situation many passengers dealt with after weeks of steady thunderstorms cascaded through North Texas, delaying hundreds of flights just as summer travel was about to take off.

“We were never offered to change flights or any sort of reimbursement,” Shofner wrote in an email from Costa Rica. “And flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, are relatively sparse, so any attempt to change would’ve been thousands of dollars.”

He’s one of many summer travelers who were hoping for a smooth trip this travel season.

Airlines, airports and partners like the Transportation Security Administration are expecting a record number of travelers. At DFW Airport, home to American Airlines, that’s nearly 25 million passengers between May and July. At Dallas Love Field, home to Southwest Airlines, nearly 190,000 travelers were expected to pass through the airport on Memorial Day weekend alone.

Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. airlines, predicts a 6.3% increase in passengers from this summer to last. From June 1 to August 31, that’s over 271 million people who will fly on a major U.S. airline. Last year, that figure was 255 million people.

Shofner and his husband live in Dallas and he posts frequently on his social media and has 67,000 followers on TikTok and 21,300 followers on Instagram. He posted a video to TikTok to talk about his experience of waiting for his flight to take off, from crew changes to communication challenges and delays that took up what could have been an entire day at a beach.

That video has almost 1 million views as of June 4.

And summer has barely even started.

Where to and how much?

Airfares might cool down for some travelers this year.

In its 2024 summer outlook, travel booking app Hopper reported domestic airfare for June, July and August averaging $305 per ticket, down 6% from this time last year. Of course, those numbers fluctuate the longer a traveler waits to book their seat on the plane.

This will be the first year that prices have dropped year over year since 2020.

Airfare prices, tied with fun events this summer, will help bring in many people to North Texas and allow local businesses to benefit from the uptick in visitors this summer.

One of the hot spots to check out, especially as travelers try to stay cool in the Texas heat, is the Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine. The attraction has everything from Lego-themed rides, 4-D cinema experiences and even a “mini land” of D-FW made of a million and a half Lego bricks. Travelers can also see DFW Airport made out of Legos.

“There’s a lot of daytrippers…some overnighters definitely in the summer,” said Jordan Thacker, marketing coordinator at Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine.

During the summer, the Legoland Discovery Center …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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