We get to celebrate Independence Day every July 4th. The bad news is that the travel system is in complete chaos and inflation has driven the prices for our favorite meals through the roof. In June, I wrote about my family’s terrible travel experience. But, apparently, things have only gotten worse since then.
With 48 million people expected this weekend to drive on high fuel prices, the roads will be jammed. As average gasoline prices have risen 56 percent, mid-range hotel costs are up 23 percent, and average lowest airfares are up 14%, it’s going to all be more expensive than last.
We will all need a larger wallet.
Across Europe and the U.S., the joyful return of summer travel has turned into a season of chaos.
It won’t be fixed anytime soon https://t.co/86WVWOFy9s
— TIME (@TIME) July 1, 2022
On Friday afternoon, there were more than 317 flight cancellations and 2894 delays. This is well above the daily average. Expect disruptions to continue into the weekend. Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized Friday for more than 400 Delta flights that had been scrubbed this week.
Bastian posted a letter to his LinkedIn page saying that he had received cancellations and delays recently. “We have spent years building Delta Air Lines’ reputation as an industry leader in reliability. While most of our flights still operate on schedule, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable.”
This is after thousands of flights were canceled over Father’s Day weekend, leaving customers at faraway airports without a way to travel to their destinations. These problems are due to staff shortages caused by layoffs and retirements at the height of the pandemic when very few people were traveling. Add to this ongoing labor strikes, and the inability of airlines to adequately plan for what was clearly going to be an enormous travel season, and you have the chaos we see today. Time is a factor:
What was supposed to be the season of joyous return to travel has turned into chaos in America and Europe. Check-in lines that are so long and painfully long; security checks that take hours; hundreds of flights canceled every week due to insufficient staffing; lost luggage for days.
If you plan to host a barbecue at your destination, be prepared for an eye-opening trip down the grocery aisle. An average barbecue will cost you 17% more than last year. (Different news outlets report slightly different percentages but the truth is that food is much more expensive).
Fourth of July BBQ costs 17% more this year. pic.twitter.com/f7OZmn1SDb
— Marc Lotter (@marc_lotter) June 21, 2022
Although there are many reasons prices have risen, such as supply chain issues and shortages, they all point to the same culprit: Biden’s inflation. Farmers pay more for fuel and other commodities, which causes them to raise their prices. Truck drivers then pay more for gas, which leads to higher prices for grocery stores.
This news is not great, but it’s a good way to channel the American spirit and have fun. Let’s forget about the bad news and let’s celebrate Independence Day with our families. This too will pass. One day, we’ll have a new government in power. We’ll remember these times as an exception. Let’s be proud of this country and thankful that we have the opportunity to live here.
This is assuming we make it to the barbeque.