Are you – or a client – hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend? Here’s a look at the top travel trends to watch.
British Airways Strike
For travelers headed to Europe, take note that British Airways cabin crew represented by the Mixed Fleet Unite union are set to strike starting Saturday, July 1, through July 16, over a pay dispute. According to the latest statement from the airline, all British Airways customers will be able to fly to their destinations, and the airline is planning to operate all flights to and from London Gatwick, London City and Stansted as normal, as well as British Airways’ recently launched weekend-only Mediterranean services to and from Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. Additionally, the vast majority of flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal, the airline said.
Some flight cancellations due to the British Airways strike began earlier this week, including between Heathrow and Doha; Abuja, Nigeria; and Muscat. Passengers on flights to Doha will instead be accommodated on flights operated by Qatar Airways, which owns part of British Airways’ parent company, IAG.
At the same time, travelers should be aware that The Independent is reporting some passengers have been told they have been re-booked on flights over 24 hours later than their original departure, though with other options available. British Airways has asked passengers with current bookings to ensure that their email and phone details are up to date using the Manage My Booking section on the British Airways website in order to receive flight updates.
Some Stormy Weather in the United States
For travelers taking a vacation within the United States, expect a busy holiday: AAA is forecasting a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 or miles from home this holiday weekend, an increase of 1.25 million more travelers than last year. Air travel in particular will rise by 4.6 percent over last year, which could mean crowded airports to deal with.
In terms of weather, USA Today is forecasting a hot weekend, with a few thunderstorms forecast across portions of the center, eastern and southern U.S., with a round of storms advancing from the Midwest Friday night and Saturday to the coastal Northeast on Sunday. On the Fourth of July itself, rain could put a damper on festivities in parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Out west, conditions should remain mostly dry.
As for where travelers are going, Marriott International is reporting strong interest in New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, Orlando and San Diego.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry news, trends and updates, and have a happy Fourth of July!