Pilot Shortages Linger. So, how's this summer's air travel looking?

Airline expert Jay Ratliff remembering LAST summer: "American and Southwest Airlines tried to operate more flights than they had crew members for. It was an absolute nightmare for 4 to 6 weeks as we kicked off the Summer of last year ('22)!

He says after the 'nightmare,' the Department of Transportation gave these instructions to the airlines: "We're not going to have a repeat of what we had last year! Make sure that the schedule that you push out is consistent with the employee headcount that you have so you can pull it off!!!"

Ratliff says this summer will be better. "Self-inflicted wounds like we had last summer? --- No, I don't see that happening. That's really important because this summer's travel season we will be seeing as many if not more of the people flying that we had pre-pandemic."

He says now airlines are only scheduling flights they can staff. "All these airlines are cancelling tens of thousands of flights from their Summer schedules! That will just mean that the planes will be even more packed than ever!"

  • Ratliff explains one reason for the pilot shortages says they are losing pilots from the military because it's using more pilot-less aircraft. Crowded Flights. Book Early

photo: Getty

Portrait of Pilots Sitting in the Cockpit, Adjusting the Controls

Pilot shortages causing fewer scheduled flights this Summer.Photo: Getty Images

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