Travel Nightmares, Skyrocketing BBQ Costs – Opinion

We get Independence Day on July 4. But the bad news is that our travel system is in utter chaos — and inflation has sent the prices of our favorite cookout items through the roof. I described my own family’s hellish travel nightmare in June, but apparently, the problem has only worsened since then.

It’s expected that 48 million drivers will brave the high cost of fuel to get on the highways this weekend. It’s all going to be more expensive than last year, as average gas prices have soared 56 percent, mid-range hotel prices are up 23 percent, and average lowest airfares are up 14 percent.

I’m going to need a bigger wallet.

As of noon Friday, more than 317 flights were canceled and 2,894 delayed—well above the daily average. The disruptions are expected to continue into the weekend. Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologised Friday for more than 400 Delta flights which were scrubbed earlier this week.

“If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize,” Bastian wrote in a letter posted to his LinkedIn page. “We’ve spent years establishing Delta Air Lines as the industry leader in reliability, and though the majority of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable.”

This comes after thousands of flights were canceled over Father’s Day weekend, stranding customers in faraway airports with no way to get to their destination. Problems are caused by staffing shortages due to retirements and layoffs that occurred during the heights of the pandemic. Add to that ongoing labor strikes and the airlines’ seeming inability to plan adequately for what was obviously going to be a huge travel season and you get the chaos we see now. Time is a factor:

Across Europe and the United States, what was supposed to be the summer of travel’s joyful return has instead become a season of chaos. Soul-killingly long lines at check-in and security; hundreds of flights canceled every week because airlines can’t staff them; luggage that doesn’t show up for days.

If you plan to host a barbecue at your destination, be prepared for an eye-opening visit to the supermarket. An average barbecue will cost 17 percent more this year than last. Although different news outlets report slightly different numbers, the truth is that food is much more expensive.

There are many reasons why prices have shot up, including supply chain issues, shortages, and others, but they all point back to the same culprit—Biden’s inflation. Things cost more for the farmers, especially fuel, so they raise their prices, the truck drivers are paying more for gas so they raise their prices, then the grocery stores have to charge more… You get the idea.

Although none of the news I have just mentioned is good, it’s still a great idea to embrace American culture and celebrate. To hell with the bad news, let’s gather with our families and defy the idiots who say we shouldn’t celebrate Independence Day. This too shall pass, and one day we will have a new administration in power and we’ll look back on these times as an anomaly. Let’s honor this great country and be thankful we get to live here.

This is assuming we make it to the barbeque.

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