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U.S. Air Travel Could be a Rough Ride This Summer

Problems are tied to ancient computers, too few pilots, traffic controller shortages

The U.S. aviation system is set for a record-breaking summer, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) already reporting passenger volumes greater than pre-pandemic levels during the Memorial Day weekend. That holiday weekend was uneventful, but experts are concerned that things might not go smoothly all summer for a system that has seen many meltdowns in the past year and appears to be prone to more.

“We expect the summer travel season to be off the charts when it comes to demand,” said Geoff Freeman, U.S. Travel Association president. “That’s great for the travel industry, but there’s no doubt that – as a country – we have underinvested in the aviation system for far too long. This type of demand will be an incredible stress test for it.”

In early May, President Joe Biden announced he was pushing to bolster passenger protection and compensation for delays or cancellations, after the Department of Transportation saw airline passenger complaints rise 55 percent in 2022.

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