If you’re thinking of taking a trip this month, you’ll have plenty of company.
While it may feel weird to realize this, we’re now in March, and Spring is almost here.
That means Spring Break is almost here. While most college students will take the week long break as opportunity to enrich themselves by reading Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time,” a small cohort will head to the beaches of America and Mexico to get into shenanigans that they’d rather their parents not know about, and that they will also immortalize via social media.
But our nation’s college students won’t be the only ones traveling. January is typically the slowest month of the year for traveling, as everyone got that out of their system in December and likely need to save a bit for a while.
Now that the weather might be getting a bit better, the trade group Airlines for America is expecting a record number of passengers to take to the skies this Spring.
People Can’t Wait To Go On Spring Break
Even if their college days are long in the rearview mirror, it seems that plenty of people want to travel in the months of March and April.
Airlines for America estimates that 2.6 million people will fly each day on average in March and April. This will represent a 1 percent increase from 2019, and also shows the extent to which travel demand is rebounding now that the pandemic is, if not over, at least in a generally more manageable era.
It’s certainly been theorized that the pandemic made many people more appreciative of, well, many things, so it’s reasonable that people who previously wouldn’t do a March trip have realized that, hey, life is short. Go have fun and see some lovely places while you can.
It’s Going To Be A Bit Crowded
The demand for travel bounced back once vaccines were available and more people felt comfortable flying. But thanks to pilot shortages, there haven’t been enough flights available to meet this increased demand.
Airlines for America notes that U.S. airlines are prepared for record levels of travel during March and April, but they’ve scheduled 10 percent fewer flights than they did four years earlier. So, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of crowded airports and an uptick in people waiting around for their flights.
High demands and low supply, as you’re likely aware, tend to result in high ticket prices, and while airlines are making an effort to recruit more pilots, front of desk staff and other employees, as the industry added roughly 96,000 jobs in 2021 and 2022, it’s unclear if this will be enough to alleviate the cancellations and delays that became increasingly widespread last year.
One interesting note is that Airlines for America reports that while the travel demand remains strong, the amount of people traveling for business remains relatively low, as the shift to Zoom meetings, remote work and covid safety protocols has largely has lessened the need for in-person meetings.
Roughly 75-80 percent of Americans traveling today are doing so for personal rather than business reasons, up from 65-70 percent in years past