TRAVEL CHAOS AROUND THE WORLD
Across Europe and the UK, airports are all looking a bit like a ‘sh*t-show’, with daily queue mayhem due to huge understaffing of security and ground-staff while demand for travel surgees. Dublin Airport, Ireland made headlines around the world as it drastically failed people passing through the airport, ending up with over 1400 people missing flights. “I’m frustrated, I’m angry, I’m scared. People are aggressive, frustrated, exhausted. Everybody was really angry”, a statement from one young traveller, Sona Jimova, to Irish media RTE as she was left stranded trying to travel home to Slovakia after visiting Ireland. The Airport Authority claimed it was not prepared for the volume of people, (despite previous chaotic scenes back in March that could have been an indicator of what was to come). This is not an isolated event. German travel operator TUI underestimated everyone’s desire to get out and overbooked holidays, resulting in thousands of last-minute holiday cancellations the group was unable to fulfil. Airlines like Iberia, Easyjet, British Airways, KLM, and more are all cancelling flights and needing to solve compensation for the thousands of disappointed holiday-goers. In the US, Delta and American Airlines are cancelling flights. Cruises and car-rentals were impacted as well.
Despite rising inflation, it appears travel (and foreign summer holiday in particular) is something we aren’t prepared to cut back on - according to the European Travel Commission, 69% of young Europeans are eager to travel around Europe this summer. In the US, summer vacation spend is up 91% over pre-COVID levels. For their part, consumers might be prepared to forgive authorities for their mishaps, given the broad uncertainty around post-pandemic consumer behaviour, rocketed further by wars, the energy crisis and surging prices, but it's proven all the more challenging when they’ve been promised experiences that didn’t materialise, and were themselves blamed for the under-delivery of such promises, (yes, you read right - read on …)