Out-of-state students wary or airline issues

Approximately 260,000 flights from U.S airlines have been delayed since June 2022. Photo courtesy: businesstraveler.com

Homesickness, travel expenses and long travel days at the beginning and end of each semester are just a handful of the struggles that out-of-state college students face.

Unfortunately, it seems like out-of-state students will be adding a few more problems to their list of travel headaches: flight cancellations and flight delays.

Whether they’re all prepped and ready for a fun-filled family vacation, or they’re just trying to retreat home after a grueling semester, last-minute flight changes can make the entire travel experience a disaster.

The increase of flight cancellations and flight delays across the country are derived from a steep increase in the demand for flights, unexpected thunderstorms and a shortage in staff among pilots, flight attendants and airline mechanics.

According to FlightAware, dating back to June, approximately 260,000 flights have been delayed and 26,000 flights have been canceled by United States airline companies. This includes American, United, Delta, US Airways, Spirit and Southwest airlines.

Approaching the summer, many people were eager to travel again after being vaccinated against the pandemic.

But during the first 19 months of the pandemic roughly 400,000 airline workers were fired, furloughed or told they may lose their job due to COVID-19

Daija Nickerson, a fourth year FAMU student from Chicago, says she experienced the brunt of flight cancellations and flight delays during her trips to and from campus this year.

“When I came back to school for the semester it was crazy,” she said. “It’s very frustrating because I’m coming from so far away on top of having to pay so much money and just the time that it takes to travel. Sometimes I even drive to Jacksonville or Orlando just to deplete the cost that it takes to fly from Tallahassee to Chicago.”

Airports are also overwhelmed with the problems caused by the demand for more flights coupled with the lack of staffing, not to mention Issues such as long lines, long layovers and lost luggage

If the airline issues persist, how are out-of-state students preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas break?

Jalyn Alleyne, a third-year college student, will be traveling to Houston for the holidays to celebrate with her family in November and December. She says she is weary about the flying and has been considering having her parents drive and pick her up instead of taking a flight.