Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Airport Recovery Plagued by Staffing Woes

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
July 12, 2022
Airport Recovery Plagued by Staffing Woes

Placer.ai U.S. Airport Index: The Placer.ai Airport Index analyzes 28 of the busiest airports throughout the United States. 

We took a look at airport foot traffic data from the past few months to understand how the travel sector is reacting to easing pandemic restrictions, newfound inflation concerns, and rising gas prices. 

Year-over-Year Visits Continuing to Grow 

After two long pandemic years, people are ready to fly again. But a new challenge is throwing a wrench in the budding air travel recovery – airport staffing woes. Many airport and airline employees, including pilots and service workers, were laid off during COVID, and airports are finding that resuming normal operations will take time. Now, demand is outpacing capacity, and delays and canceled flights are becoming the norm as the airport system tries to cope with post-pandemic revenge travel

But despite these obstacles, year-over-year (YoY) visits have been up almost every month of 2022. And although the growth in YoY visits appears to be leveling out, this is likely a result of the increase in airport visits in Q2 2021 – when cities began to formally reopen – than any downward trend. 

So, while June 2022 saw YoY numbers decline relative to earlier in the year, the slowdown in growth is likely more a reflection of the concerns plaguing the industry rather than any real drop in demand for air travel.

!function(e,i,n,s){var t="InfogramEmbeds",d=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement("script");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async");

Airport Visits Nearly at Pre-Pandemic Levels

Looking at year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) numbers confirms that, despite the shrinking visit gaps, airport foot traffic has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. According to the TSA, airports are at 87.7% of their pre-pandemic levels – and foot traffic data confirms these numbers. The Placer.ai U.S Airport Index shows June 2022 visits down 14.1% relative to June 2019. And zooming into a few individual airports (which are included in the index) shows monthly visits in June 2022 down 23.7%, 19.7%, 9.8%, and 9.8% for Los Angeles International (LAX), Chicago O’Hare International (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW), and John F. Kennedy International (JFK), respectively. 

Only one airport – Miami International Airport (MIA) – experienced elevated foot traffic, with May and June 2022 seeing 10.3% and 2.4% increases in foot traffic compared to 2019, respectively.  This may be explained by Miami’s increased popularity as a place to live and work, and by its seemingly relaxed COVID restrictions. 

!function(e,i,n,s){var t="InfogramEmbeds",d=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement("script");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async");

July 4th Visits Lagging 

July 4th is a popular weekend for travel – so popular, in fact, that Delta Airlines, affected by overbookings and a scarce workforce, offered cash incentives (including one for $10,000) for travelers on overbooked flights. Overall, more than 2,200 flights were canceled over Independence Day, causing widespread delays and chaos – resulting in fewer people flying and overall reduced airport foot traffic. 

Year-over-year visits were still elevated (for the most part) compared to last year – JFK saw 31% more travelers than they had seen in 2021 – which indicates that many have returned to their July 4th travel routine. Still, in almost all cases, Yo3Y foot traffic lagged. LAX, ORD, MIA, and JFK saw a 25.9%, 12.1%, 0.5%, and 7.6% drop, respectively, in Yo3Y July 4th foot traffic. Meanwhile, DFW saw a 3.6% increase in Yo3Y airport visitors – perhaps due to the pandemic population boom in Texas generally, and Dallas in particular. 

!function(e,i,n,s){var t="InfogramEmbeds",d=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement("script");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src="https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async");

Despite staffing concerns, widespread chaos and cancellations at airports, people are still ready to take to the skies. However, rising fuel prices and a significant staffing shortage are holding the airport recovery back. So while consumer demand for air travel is high, airports will need to rebuild their capacity before they can make a full foot traffic recovery.

Where is airport traffic headed in the second half of 2022? Visit placer.ai to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Airports
Text Link
Tourism
Digging Into Darden: Q2 2024 Update
2024 Retail and Dining Trends Update
TRU and avid: Midscale Hotels on the Rise 
Diving Into Kroger: A Strong Start to 2024
Placer.ai Mall Index: May 2024 Recap – Mall Visits on the Rebound
Placer.ai Office Index: May 2024 Recap
2024 Memorial Day Recap
Las Vegas: A Tourism and Migration Deep Dive
Eatertainment Chains: Full on Food, Fun, and Foot Traffic
The Promise of Luxury Apparel
Catching Up With Ulta Beauty & Gap Brands
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends
Placer.ai Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In
Placer.ai Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note