The travel season is upon us and people are eager to leave with the restrictions now almost completely lifted. Although we saw the birth of the Revenge Travel phenomenon last year, it was only a taste.
Is 2022 going to be just an adjustment period for the real Revenge Travel of 2023?
What does this mean for you and your travel planning?
The scarcity of affordable airfare
However, two years later, we can see that seats on partner airlines are increasingly difficult to find with Revenge Travel. I do a lot of research on premium tickets and I have never seen such a rarity. Last-minute travel with points will be difficult this summer.
So, with the Revenge Travel phenomenon, one should expect to pay more when using points, as one must fall back on Air Canada in the absence of availability of partners. Therefore, award tickets will be subject to dynamic pricing.
Are point accumulation strategies still viable with the meteoric rise of cash or point prizes and the limited availability of partner airlines? The answer is yes, but you must:
- make reservations in advance
- be as flexible as possible with dates, destinations, and especially with the type of points collected
- master several rewards programs and currency types(Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue, etc.)
- consider positioning flights
- use creativity when making your itinerary
An extended high season
On the other hand, the planes were full! I’ve never seen this kind of traffic from May onwards; usually, you notice this kind of situation beginning in early July. It’s Revenge Travel! A quick search shows me that the flight from Montreal to Paris was overflowing!
Therefore, Revenge Travel will affect you more for this summer’s travel. In fact, you should expect the cabins to be full and don’t rely on your upgrade credits to come and save you at the boarding gate.
With Revenge Travel, if you really want to get your hands on a business class seat, book your ticket accordingly with confirmed upgrades in advance to avoid disappointment.
Disruptions caused by Revenge Travel
The current situation in airports shows that the number of passengers is rising exponentially.
There are several inconveniences to be expected. Staffing shortages will be the biggest issue for flight operations; I’m not even surprised anymore when I see the long lines at airports, that’s the reality right now.
Revenge Travel is mainly felt in:
- delays in obtaining passports
- the rise in airfare prices both in money and points
- endless queues
- delayed or cancelled flights
- checked luggage that does not follow you to your destination
With the current situation at the airport, I recommend arriving 3 or 4 hours before your departure to have plenty of time to go through check-in and security procedures … then relax with a glass of wine in a lounge!
Beware of storms
We don’t think about massive weather disruptions during the summer since there are no snowstorms or de-icing stages, but thunderstorms are just as bad. Planes cannot land and take off during thunderstorms, which inevitably leads to delays and cancellations. In addition to the inconveniences caused by Revenge Travel, the weather can still cut into your plans this summer.
Recently, a thunderstorm caused a flight delay of more than 7 hours before being cancelled in the early hours of the morning because the pilots’ working time was exceeded. The pilots also had to wait these same 7 hours before boarding the plane and one cannot expect them to operate a flight after a long delay. Unlike you, pilots cannot sleep during the flight.
Everyone was okay though! Flight attendants, pilots, and passengers were all seated in their seats on the plane, but there was not enough ground staff to finish preparing the aircraft at 3 a.m. (baggage, meals, fuel, etc.). These people had finished their shift when a storm delayed dozens of flights.
Were these people to blame for not staying at the gate until 3 a.m. when they had already worked 8-12 hour shifts? No, the storms are to blame!
A little respect for the staff, please!
I’d like to take a moment to make this point in preparation for this summer’s Revenge Travel trips: despite all the inconveniences you may experience, don’t take it out on the staff on the ground, especially the flight attendants.
Flight attendants are paid from the moment the aircraft door is closed. So they do a lot of volunteer work before the flight and are not responsible if your special meal is not loaded on the plane, if your screen is not working, or if you miss your connection. Don’t take your frustration out on them, as the vast majority of the inconvenience is out of their control.
All operational teams at the airport are downsized as Revenge Travel is well established in their routine. Please bear with us, the staff is also suffering from inconveniences caused by the lack of manpower.
Revenge Travel is well underway and it looks like this is just a taste of what’s to come. We need to be aware of this to better plan our trips with the points and to keep our cool in case of inconveniences … because they will surely come.