Airline passengers may experience "lobby shock" this summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Lobby shock is the reaction to long zig-zagging lines travelers see when they first enter the airport.
The lines can be treacherous, but there are ways customer can reduce their time waiting in airport lines.
Post-pandemic travel is surging and airlines are struggling to keep up as passengers face a new reality at the airport: "lobby shock."
Since the beginning of the year, US carriers have been reducing their flight schedule to cope with staffing shortages, weather, and other operational factors. JetBlue Airways told CNN in April that it was slashing 8%-10% of its May flying, while Delta Air Lines said on May 26 that it was slashing about 100 daily departures from July 1 to August 7 due to skyrocketing demand.
Despite the airlines' best efforts, analysts say this trend is not slowing down, and travelers should prepare for frequent flight disruptions.
"We expect a busy summer, and are concerned about the industry's ability to handle the demand," Cowen analyst Helane Becker wrote in a research note shared with Insider. "Delta and JetBlue announced flight cancelations for July and into August as they try to get a handle on staffing."
Memorial Day weekend proved to be a rough holiday for airlines, which canceled or delayed thousands of flights from Friday to Monday. Delta faced major challenges, having canceled more than 700 flights over the four-day weekend due to air traffic control delays and weather, according to Becker.
The issues over the holiday are expected to continue, Becker noted, saying "we continue to believe domestic leisure travel is 30% to 40% above 2019 levels," and that passengers should anticipate large crowds.
Specifically, The Wall Street Journal said some travelers may experience "lobby shock" this summer, which is the reaction to the long zig-zagging lines that may worry passengers who are just getting to the airport. While monster crowds were present pre-pandemic, analysts say they're coming back in full force this year.
"Passengers should expect airports to be extremely busy," the TSA federal security director Robert Spinden said in an interview with ABC News. "But we're prepared."
To avoid the stress, there are a handful of things travelers can do to avoid the lines, like enrolling in TSA PreCheck, which costs $85 for five years. Once approved, you become a trusted traveler and can use the expedited TSA PreCheck lanes that typically don't require you to remove shoes, liquids, or laptops.
Some airports, like New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, offer VirtuaLine, which allows travelers to reserve a spot in the security queue, lessening wait times.
Automated systems can also be used to reduce the time needed to check luggage, like United Airlines' "bag-drop shortcut" or Delta Air Lines' dedicated bag drop lobby that uses facial recognition technology.
Read the original article on Business Insider