DENVER (KDVR) — Pandemic recovery continues with airline travel expected to increase by more than 20% during the summer months, according to AAA of Colorado.
“With surging demand, limited inventory, if you wait, you might not be able to take the trip you want to take,” spokesperson Skyler McKinley said.
A report compiled by the travel agency reveals nearly 80% of Colorado residents plan to travel this year, with three-quarters planning summer trips. More than half have not actually booked their trips and may try to find deals at the last minute, something that may impact popular destinations around the world.
“Hotel inventory in Europe is almost gone, international travel is up 300%, because so many folks who might have wanted to travel internationally (can’t), that’s going to put pressure on the Disneylands of the world,” McKinley said.
FOX31 spoke with travelers at Denver International Airport, who expressed excitement after postponing travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s just great to be traveling again,” said one visitor arriving from Australia.
Airlines prepare for summer travel surge
Airlines are preparing for the increased demand expected to surge over the next four months.
“We’re all staffed, we have a great availability of pilots and flight attendants,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of commercial for Denver-based Frontier Airlines.
Frontier will serve 63 nonstop destinations from Denver.
“We’re getting new planes all of the time, we have the youngest fleet in America, we have the most fuel-efficient and greenest fleet in America, we’re really excited about what the summer is going to offer,” Shurz said.
To lock down business, the company is offering an almost unheard of deal, the “All You Can Fly” pass for $499 now through May 31, while supplies last.
“In a lot of cases, that’s the price of one round trip on other airlines,” Shurz said.
Southwest Airlines is slated to operate more than 300 flights per peak day at DIA between June and October, including nonstops to more than 90 destinations. The airline told FOX31 the company added more than 4,500 new employees in 2023.
Consumer experts recommend visiting each airline’s website, where online deals and special rewards for those enrolled in loyalty programs may be available.
McKinley told the Problem Solvers that road travel in Colorado is also expected to increase during the summer months, boosting revenues at high-country hotels, restaurants and other businesses related to the hospitality industry.