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Summer travel plans can get crazy fast. Choosing the right hotel, comparing flight prices, and convincing your family and friends to leave on time can leave you asking yourself, « Is it worth it? »
Once we reach our destination, the answer is almost always a resounding “yes!” But if there is an infallible way to lower your spirits, it is flight delays and cancellations.
Travel interruptions can take you from absolutely excited about a summer vacation to pure existential dread staring at the flight board.
Tourism records are being broken around the world as the summer season begins and there are no signs of slowing down.
The only thing that would stop travelers from going anywhere would be if something went wrong. According to a recent announcement by a prominent US official, that may sadly be the case.
busy summer season
Summer is always a super chaotic time to travel for multiple reasons. The kids are out of school, the weather is warm, and there are now 4 federal holidays from the end of May through the first week of September.
It’s the perfect time for a getaway, and everyone relates to it. Whether it’s taking a dream vacation at some of Mexico’s most luxurious resorts or finding time to recharge on your own, summer is the season for travel.
So if you’re planning to fly this summer, consider a recent warning from former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
Now Transportation Secretary Buttigieg is urging Americans to prepare for chaos this summer.
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“There is a real risk of delays or cancellations. This represents one of the biggest, probably the biggest, foreseeable issue affecting performance this summer.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the Wall Street Journal
Due to the incessant influx of travelers at airports, it can already be a hassle even without a major disruption.
You may have to show up at the airport 2-3 hours early just to get through security. Buttigieg’s warning doesn’t have much to do with the already chaotic nature of summer travel, though.
There are going to be annoyances and frustrations. The main reason for the expected additional delays is the implementation of new technology.
How 5G is expected to affect summer travel
Telecommunications companies are boosting cellular capabilities with 5G connections. You may be thinking: « I have to keep my phone in airplane mode during the flight, so how would this affect me? »
This has nothing to do with whether your phone is on or off. It has everything to do with the possibility of aircraft communication systems being affected.
security is always top priority on planes. The fear is that if the airlines do not comply with the July 1 deadline to properly outfit the planes, a frenzy of flight delays could occur across the country.
Last month, President Biden refused to move the goalposts to a later date, so it seems July 1 is set in stone.
Upgrading the planes is very important. Planes are equipped with altimeters, which determine how high or low the craft is above the ground.
If these high-tech radar systems fail, pilots will have trouble controlling the plane. Pretty big deal, right?
What airlines are ready?
While Buttigieg didn’t review every airline, he did point to some statistics. As of this week, he claimed roughly 20 percent of domestic flights are not 5G ready, as well as approximately 35 percent of international flights.
Delta is reportedly struggling with supply chain issues, causing nearly 200 planes to miss the deadline. Although, a Delta spokesperson said a « minimal » impact is expected.
For JetBlue, an estimated 17 aircraft will not be properly outfitted until later this fall. It is not known how other airlines will handle the tight deadline.
If Buttigieg is warning travelers this week, it should definitely be a concern for travelers traveling this summer.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com