…and if you want more good news about US air travel, some of our airports are starting to look like it’s the Thanksgiving holiday on routine weekdays, because those airports simply cannot handle the traffic any longer.
Security lines that snake along endlessly, significant flight delays, lost luggage, sullen and overworked gate agents.
These are just some of the nightmares that flyers experience at airports when they travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the busiest day of the year for airports, thanks to passenger volumes that are between 108-259% higher than the average day. And soon, that may be an everyday occurrence at airports.
According to data recently released by non-profit industry group U.S. Travel Association, within the next decade, 27 of the nation’s top 30 airports (these accounted for more than 70% of all passenger boardings in 2013) will experience the same congestion as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving two days each week; for 20 of these airports, this dreadful transformation will happen in the next five years.
What’s more, within the next two decades, 20 of the nation’s top 30 airports will feel like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on the average day.
“The already bad news about our overwhelmed travel system has gotten worse,” says Roger Dow, the president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “In the past year, the news for the majority of our largest airports has gotten worse.”
Or, as the association puts it in the report: “The outlook for more efficient, hassle-free travel is becoming bleaker.”
At some airports, this is particularly true. Here are the 9 airports (using 2012 as a model) where every day it will feel like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving the soonest.
So what’s with this dismal forecast? The U.S. Travel Association notes that this is thanks to our not-stellar infrastructure, as well as an increase in the number of people traveling in the next decade. “The U.S. air travel system was once the envy of the world, but now there is not a single U.S. airport ranked in the top 25 worldwide,” said U.S. Travel Association President and Chief Executive Roger Dow, in a statement. “Major investments in air travel infrastructure are desperately needed to restore service to even basic levels of adequacy, let alone cope with the expected coming demand.”
The study, conducted by research firm Cambridge Systematics on behalf of the U.S. Travel Association, analyzed daily volume data from Orbitz for the top 100 U.S. airports for transactions that represent 94% of U.S. airport passengers.
[by Catey Hill, writing for MARKETWATCH]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis