Airlines are being called to the principal's office today because of operational issues.

Transportation Secretary meeting with airline CEOs

US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg is meeting with CEOs from major US airlines to discuss the busy summer travel season and flight disruptions. The meeting is supposed to discuss plans to ensure safe and reliable service over the July 4th holiday, according to sources.

We have seen a lot of flight disruptions in recent months as travel demand has surged, and that is only likely to get worse as leisure travel demand is reaching new levels this summer.

The meeting came after senators raised concerns about airlines. Airlines argue that the nation's air traffic control system needs to be prepared for an increase in demand because there have been issues there as well.

Airlines are seeing a surge in demand this summer

Prediction: nothing will change

A meeting between senior government officials and the airlines won't solve the problem of unreliably airlines.

  • It’s not that airlines don’t know they have operational problems, but rather they’re prioritizing profitability above operational reliability
  • Airline executives are much more incentivized to maximize revenue rather than anything else, because at the end of the day that’s what they’re rewarded based on
  • Realistically speaking, the government doesn’t actually have much leverage here, aside from just generally attempting to appear to stand up for consumers
  • Fault for operational issues isn’t even entirely with airlines here, as there are also major staffing (and other) issues at every level of the aviation supply chain, ranging from Boeing not being able to deliver aircraft on time, to a shortage of airport contractors
  • This isn’t just a US-centric problem, because just look at the current state of air travel in Europe, which isn’t exactly great either

The lack of operational reliability in the airline industry is frustrating, but I think people have unrealistic expectations. Reliability issues are not limited to the airlines. It's no small feat to get anything on-time these days.

If you want to be realistic, you should expect to be delayed by a day and your bag to be lost. This is just the reality of travel at the moment, and I have said that before. I have never seen an airport like that before.

Both of our bags were missing. I was expecting that and I'm not upset about it. It will only get worse from here because summer holidays haven't even started in Germany. To point out that this is the reality of travel right now is not to excuse what's happening.

Expect operational issues if you travel this summer

Bottom line

Ahead of the peak summer travel period, the US transportation secretary is talking to industry CEOs about airline operational reliability.

Air travel is going to be a disaster this summer regardless of what conversations take place. Airlines aren't willing to sacrifice profits for operational reliability, but it also comes down to so many other factors that are contributing to reliable services throughout the economy

How do you feel about this situation?