Airline schedulers’ jobs have become something like playing Whack-A-Mole. As some carriers give up slots at certain airports, other carriers grab them. And then there’s the whole “keeping up with passenger demand” thing.
In early October, American, Delta, United and Southwest cut hundreds of thousands of flights in November because it looked as if the entire month (except Thanksgiving, which was questionable at best) was going to continue to have slow demand.
So what happened? With less than 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, people are suddenly making flight reservations around that holiday time. Because of course they are ;-).
- American Airlines plans to increase its flights by about 15% compared to the rest of the month.
- Delta has seen more flight reservations for the holidays and the airline’s CEO Ed Bastian says they will increase capacity, as well. They plan to offer over 3,800 peak-day flights during Thanksgiving.
- JetBlue will offer more seasonal flights over the long weekend, with emphasis on Florida, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the Caribbean and South America.
- United is adding over 1,400 domestic flights during Thanksgiving week and is watching bookings in real-time so they can swap in larger aircraft to accommodate last-minute demand, if needed.
Of note, many of these last-minute flights aren’t for people to “go home for the holidays.” It appears that many Americans are heeding the CDC’s recommendations not to have family gatherings, and are making more unusual (but understandable) travel trends for 2020.
Does anyone want to take bets on what air travel will look like around the December holiday season?
Feature Photo: PickPic
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary