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Air travel is shaping up to look like a nightmare this summer, especially at many big airports and hub cities. And as a result, some travelers are rethinking their plans. Many Americans now say they’ll avoid planes and airports altogether. The reduced spending will mean a loss of $4.3 billion for the June-August peak summer season, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
Even with pledges of more money and increased staffing, the bottlenecks getting through TSA security screenings have many airports and airlines recommending that people show up two hours before a flight — three hours if they’re traveling overseas.
Summer can be a hectic time to travel anyway. The season’s slowdowns result from less frequent travelers who clog security lines because they aren’t familiar with the protocol, stormy weather that can lead to flight cancelations and scramble schedules, and the sheer volume of people packing onto planes.
For some people, the long wait times have finally become too much. According to a new survey from the U.S. Travel Association of 2,500 people, more than one in five of those who planned to fly somewhere this summer are now planning to find another way to get there (like driving), put their trip off until the situation improves, or just stay home in order to avoid spending–literally–hours in the airport before they can even begin their journey.
Not only is this a disappointment for people who had been looking forward to a beach, theme park or other getaway, but the association pointed out that having people scrap their plans and cancel bookings isn’t exactly good for business, either.