Bad news travels fast and it seems that worldwide jet setters have taken off on a bumpy ride in 2022. From global airport chaos, soaring airfares due to surging fuel prices, thousands of flight cancellations, to snaking security queues and luggage loaded onto the wrong plane; it’s getting in-tents! 🏕️ Oh, and airline worker and pilot shortages while they retrain. 👩✈️ And that’s before anyone wrestles to jam their bag into the overhead locker and tucks into their in-flight, shall we say, meal?
But that’s not the only thing hitting turbulence for pent-up pandemic passengers. With flight costs staying, well, unpredictable, airfare prediction apps are going ‘haywire’. Big data travel tools, like Skyscanner, owned by Trip.com (TCOM), Google Flights (GOOG, GOOGL), and Kayak, owned by Booking Holdings (BKNG), which help people predict the cheapest time to buy tickets, are dealing with a conveyor belt of woes in the never-ending pandemic.
This is a problem because these machine learning apps might be flying blind. They rely on airline analysts to set airfares by anticipating ‘who will want to go where when’ using historical data and, erm, their shiny crystal ball? 🔮 But because airlines also look to other airlines to keep their prices competitive, and airfare prediction algorithms juggle all the data, apps getting price predictions right for passengers is looking to be a flight of fancy in the short term. ✈️ Even Kiwis planning summer travel might need to buckle in and book now so they don’t end up missing their yuletide joy.
But the airline industry is far from grounded. Commentator Lou Whiteman reckons while US airlines didn’t get off to a flying start this spring, and some airlines have more baggage than others - carrying sky high debt - the industry will ‘continue to fly through the economic turbulence’, even if it’s taking a little longer to get off the ground. 🧳 So, for those ready to brace it, mask up and have a nice flight! 🥂