For the first time in 20 years, the dollar and the euro have reached parity. That’s good news for American travelers headed to Europe this summer, where their dollars will get them much further. But those heading to the airport will have a lot more to complain about.
For the last two weeks, lines at airport security checkpoints across the country have reached record lengths — with many missing flights after hours of standing still. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey say wait times at John F. Kennedy Airport in March and April were 80% higher than the same time last year.
And it;’s not just long lines — flight delays have plagued airports and airplanes running low on attendants due to illness and short staffing. According to online travel booking platform Hopper, Brussels and Frankfurt’s airports are the least reliable when it comes to flight delays, which affect 72% and 68% of their flights respectively.
Travel agents recommend that those heading to Europe should leave themselves plenty of extra time to account for lines and to avoid checking a bag if at all possible — meaning arriving anywhere between three and five hours early before boarding.
Coming hand in hand with missed flights is missed baggage. As many passengers miss direct flights or connecting flights due to wait times, their luggage ends up missing their destination. Many are recommending to stick to carry on — which of course, is not an option for many on longer trips.
Unfortunately, flight delays, long lines and missed bags won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Airport operators globally warn this summer will continue to be tough as they try to hire more staff.