Travel expert takes a look at trends for the rest of the year

Willard Desalvatore

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – Summer travel is in full swing, but not without some hiccups. Airports nationwide are experiencing increased delays and cancellations, we spoke with a travel expert to learn more about if these problems are expected to continue.

“The summer travel is busier than busy, everybody’s wanting to get out and go to Europe, the Caribbean, and Mexico,” Tracy Wilbeck said, a vacation travel advisory for Acendas Travel.

Airlines are struggling to keep up with the increased demand. They dealing with rising fuel costs and staffing shortages, including a lack of pilots.

All of this is leading to increased costs for consumers. According to last month’s U.S. Travel price index, airfares are up 34% from last year, and lodging is up 11.5%.

“Everything’s more expensive, the hotels, the car rentals, the air, everything,” Wilbeck said.

In her 15 years of working in travel, Wilbeck has never seen a pilot shortage like this.

However, the flight delays and cancellations stemming from it, aren’t having as much effect on direct flights to and from South Dakota, but it’s a different story for larger airports.

“The connection flights, obviously you have to pack your patience right now. Just make sure you plan ahead. If you need to be somewhere on a certain date, make sure you leave a day or two earlier, just in case,” Wilbeck said.

Looking forward, while some of these cancellations may hang around into the fall and winter, there’s optimism that the travel industry will make a recovery soon.

“I truly think we’ll come out of this. We bounce back pretty good, and we already see the booking for fall 2023. I’m booking into June next year already,” Wilbeck said.

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