Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Travel right now: FAIR WARNING!
Old 06-24-2022, 02:56 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sojourner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,103
Travel right now: FAIR WARNING!

Having just returned from a weeklong, cross-country trip for a cousin's wedding and some sightseeing/vacationing in the area, I can safely say that the travel situation in the U.S. right now is... well, to put it kindly... a bit of a disaster. So this post is my "word to the wise" for those of us who might be contemplating travel but are wondering whether it's worth the hassle this summer. I have to say that, based on my recent experience, it is NOT, but read on if you're interested in the particulars.

First of all, the situation with air travel right now is an unmitigated disaster. Our flight from Atlanta to the west coast was canceled, out of the blue, as we were standing in line to check in for our flight. There were no other flights available (according to the agent), not even flights to nearby airports. And to add insult to injury, they refused to help us find flights on other airlines that were heading to (or close to) our destination, instead only offering us seats on a flight TWO DAYS from our scheduled departure. This was entirely unacceptable, as we would have missed the wedding and all related festivities entirely.

After a full 90 minutes of back and forth, with the agent calling (and being placed on extended hold) and DW and I calling and waiting on a one-hour hold with the airline, we finally got the agent to agree to escalate our dilemma to a top-level customer care rep who secured two seats on a flight to a city 120 miles away. We boarded that flight a full 2 hours after our originally scheduled departure (that flight was itself delayed), and arrived at our new "nearby" destination at nearly 4:30am. We only laid our heads down to sleep, exhausted and exasperated, after spending an additional $250 to book a hotel room last minute near the new destination airport, and spending $35 for an Uber to take us there (no taxis available at that time of night).

The next morning, we had to get to our original destination city ASAP, but did not have a rental car or other ready means of transportation at our disposal. (Our rental car was waiting for us at the original destination airport). After looking at a few options, we decided to spend $140 to hire an Uber to drive us the 120 miles to our rental car pickup spot. When we got there, we stood in a one hour line to check in to pick up our car, only to be told that THERE WERE NO CARS AVAILABLE. Apparently, they were very short staffed and returning cars were bring processed (cleaned, prepped, refueled, etc.) by a skeleton crew, leading to 45-60 minute waits for people picking up their cars. So, we waited... and waited... and waited some more. Finally, after about 50 minutes, we got our car and were on our way. We literally felt like we'd won the lottery after driving out of there.

Fortunately, everything else on our trip went pretty smoothly after that, but boy was that first 24 hours a nerve-wracking, aggravating ordeal. My advice to anyone who is on the fence about traveling right now is, DON'T, unless you absolutely have to or you have a very easygoing, calm, happy-go-lucky attitude about delays, cancellations, and snags of all sorts you're very likely to encounter. Otherwise, probably best to wait until the summer travel crush is over and the airlines and rental car companies have regained their footing.
Sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-24-2022, 03:13 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St. Charles
Posts: 3,285
I recently read a post somewhere from a flight attendant giving thoughts on travel right now.

Their most adamant piece of advice was to give yourself at least a day of float (2 is better) for any "time sensitive trip" (wedding, graduation, cruise, etc.)

That is always good advice, but with thousands of flights being cancelled every week, it is even more critical now.

FWIW, DW had a cancelled flight retuning home from our nephew's graduation. Spent the night in Phoenix. Not happy about it, but not a big deal either.
__________________
If your not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
Never slow down, never grow old!
CardsFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:28 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 5,803
I'm leaving for a tour of E. Europe in early August and returning (God help me) on Labor Day. Staying overnight in London both ways, I hope that provides some slack in case something goes wrong.
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:33 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SoCal, SE Florida, Lausanne
Posts: 2,847
I hope the mess clears up. We are leaving late August for a 6 week trip to Switzerland/Northern Italy/France. We have been conditioning our bodies for the high altitude hikes and climbing that we are planning.
Freedom56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:34 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 31,857
Hopefully us road trippers will be OK.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:35 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 15,513
My current plan is a driving trip to Connecticut this Fall. Hotels may be more expensive and I won't have to deal with airlines!
__________________
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth...philosopher Mike Tyson
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:37 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 33,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
... Otherwise, probably best to wait until the summer travel crush is over and the airlines and rental car companies have regained their footing.

I am headed to Europe in early September. I surely hope the vacationing crowd already thins out by then. It seems to be, because hotel rates are lower than in August.

Some cities even lift parking fees and restrictions in September, and allow free parking. Hurray!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)

"Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities Can Make You Commit Atrocities" - Voltaire (1694-1778)
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:44 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Just north of the 41st parallel
Posts: 14,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Hopefully us road trippers will be OK.
+1. Should be ok until we get to popular tourist destinations.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:48 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,272
Yeah it sounds like most of the flight cancellations are domestic?

I took three trips to Europe last summer and two so far this year.

I believe they said domestic flights in the US in summer 2021 was over 100% of domestic flights in the summer of 2019.

Europe flights from the US were not at 2019 levels.

This summer though, fares are higher so that may reflect higher demand, even before they dropped the test requirement to return to the US.
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:49 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 527
I thought I had some bad flights but yours was nothing short of a disaster. Amazing that you actually got to the wedding on time. Clearly you need a 'vacation from your vacation'. I've been looking at airfares and right now it's crazy. Not a good time to travel by air.
dmpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:50 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 33,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Yeah it sounds like most of the flight cancellations are domestic?

I took three trips to Europe last summer and two so far this year.

I believe they said domestic flights in the US in summer 2021 was over 100% of domestic flights in the summer of 2019.

Europe flights from the US were not at 2019 levels.

This summer though, fares are higher so that may reflect higher demand, even before they dropped the test requirement to return to the US.

Just saw headline from Euronews:

Quote:
Lufthansa is the latest European airline to cancel thousands of flights at the last minute...
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)

"Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities Can Make You Commit Atrocities" - Voltaire (1694-1778)
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:52 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Reseda
Posts: 694
I went to New Hampshire the last week of April and no such problems.
Think I'll stick with traveling outside the usual tourist season of summer.
Air travel is bad enough when it is not delayed or cancelled.
MC Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:54 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 31,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
+1. Should be ok until we get to popular tourist destinations.
With a condo or suite with full kitchen or home should be OK. But you probably have to avoid the dining inside restaurant scene.

We’ve been more looking at mountain cabins and planning on hiking, outdoor sightseeing.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 03:59 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 2,441
DB and SIL just returned from an Alaska cruise and their flights back to the east coast were similarly SNAFUed. I’m not planning to travel but I live near I-81 and hopped on for a couple of exits yesterday. I used to drive it routinely for w*rk and was used to crowded lanes, but yesterday was a whole new adventure.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:03 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sojourner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Hopefully us road trippers will be OK.
Yep, the more you can avoid airports and rental cars (and maybe even hotels), the better. This is what I plan to do as much as possible, although sometimes, as with weddings or other family obligations in far-off locations, air travel is basically unavoidable.
Sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:10 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sojourner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi View Post
I thought I had some bad flights but yours was nothing short of a disaster. Amazing that you actually got to the wedding on time.
Yes, we did miss the earlier wedding-related events due to our canceled flight and next day rental car fiasco, but luckily we managed to make it to the two "big" events. DW and I both really like this particular cousin whose event it was, but we both grumbled to ourselves that they chose the peak of the summer travel season to schedule this thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi View Post
I've been looking at airfares and right now it's crazy. Not a good time to travel by air.
+1000, neither from a travel cost perspective nor from an ease/comfort/reliability perspective.
Sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:12 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,192
I had recounted my story in the Travel Hopes thread about how I was unable to join a tour that was going to a remote area in Peru due to my initial flight to Miami's being canceled 4 hours before takeoff, and the next one offered me arriving 48 hours later - after the group had flown out to the remote area. I had scheduled myself to arrive 36 hours early. I had paid for good and expensive travel insurance.

I submitted my travel insurance claim today and it was denied within 3 hours - due to "overbooking" and how that was not a "covered reason." I have proof that it wasn't just my ticket that was canceled, but the entire flight. It is totally illogical that an entire flight would be canceled due to an "overbooking," as that would exacerbate the airline's schedules issues further.

I have uploaded my proof that the flight was cancelled entirely - never departed - and asked for a reconsideration. But what is next? "Oh, we meant that the flight crews were overbooked." How could the insurance company make such a stupid statement?
__________________
FIRED:
July 12, 2018. On safari to stay!
Pellice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:14 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sojourner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
This summer though, fares are higher so that may reflect higher demand, even before they dropped the test requirement to return to the US.
And now that the testing requirement has finally been dropped, I can only imagine the increased demand, higher fares, overcrowded planes, canceled flights, and overworked/frazzled flight crews that are bound to ensue. IMHO, it's a bit of a perfect storm for travelers eager to get back out into the world.
Sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:19 PM   #19
Administrator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Land of Florida Man
Posts: 37,108
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Hopefully us road trippers will be OK.
+1

Increased traffic is a hassle but highway hotels don’t act as badly as the airlines.

Airlines have been doing this for years, but it clearly is getting worse. The most important lesson I learned when something similar happened to me is, when hotel and auto rentals are involved, travel insurance is a must, even for simple domestic trips.
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 04:22 PM   #20
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,237
We are not flying until mid-October. I am sincerely hoping that things improve by then.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flight changes--- (un)fair warning OHjosh Other topics 31 02-07-2018 05:47 AM
Right dose of food. Was: The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life eta2020 Health and Early Retirement 8 05-19-2015 06:47 AM
Excerpt from Ronald Reagan- Interesting Diary to be published now in Vanity Fair dumpster56 Other topics 0 05-02-2007 09:47 AM
Fair warning for parents, or parents to be... cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 4 02-20-2006 08:46 PM
Fair warning cute fuzzy bunny FIRE and Money 18 08-16-2004 06:49 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:42 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.