Airline issues affecting Rochester airport amid travel spikes

Airline issues affecting Rochester airport amid travel spikes
Airline issues affecting Rochester airport amid travel spikes

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Airlines across the country are experiencing record bookings, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

At the same time that check-in rates reach levels as high as Thanksgiving, there have been high levels of cancellations and delays nationwide.

“Demand is outpacing available capacity right now,” said Brian Murray, AAA’s director of travel.

According to Murray, the travel industry is facing a number of challenges across all airlines, including staffing shortages for both pilots and flight attendants, as well as delays due to inclement weather.

“Unfortunately, weather can create a lot of infrastructure problems for airlines,” he said. “That causes a domino effect where a plane can be delayed in a city, but if it was scheduled to cross the country during the day, it won’t get there,” he said.

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Andy Moore, director of Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport, says airlines are still catching up on last week’s weather snags.

The past week has brought thunderstorms and other weather patterns to many places across the US.

“On Thursday we had about 22% of our flights affected, either delayed or cancelled,” Moore said.

At the same time, the demand to get on a plane is growing.

“Summer vacation is a great travel time, kids are out of school, families are looking forward to traveling in the summer,” Murray said.

Moore says many just want to get out and travel again, after the worst months of COVID.

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“We’re certainly seeing more passengers come through, people are out, they want to get out and fly,” Moore said.

If your flight is cancelled, rebooking while airlines are currently inundated can be challenging.

That is why you will want to be prepared, and arm yourself with patience:

  • Plan to depart a few days earlier than normal, to ensure additional time
  • Arrive early at the airport, especially at larger city airports
  • Make sure you have the airline app on your phone to get up-to-date information on your flight status

“We are here to help change the reservation, but the airline app offers the possibility to change the reservation [too] if there are interruptions along the way,” Murray said.

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He was quick to assure that not every weekend is going to be like the last days. But Murray anticipates that demand will continue throughout the summer, especially as the 4th of July approaches.

It’s also important to remember: you are entitled to a refund if your flight is cancelled.