Digitrips has revealed flight cancellations and schedule changes occurred much closer to departure in 2022 than in previous years, highlighting the severe impact of staff shortages and strikes on airlines and airports worldwide.
The multi-product travel provider, which owns French B2B OTA MisterFly, found that passengers received an average of 39 days’ notice of changes or cancellations in 2022, compared to 54 days in 2019.
Emilie Dumont, Managing Director of Digitrips, said: “Our figures from MisterFly revealed that the proportion of our travellers who experienced flight cancellations or changes prior to their departure date remained significantly higher in 2022 than pre-Covid – with 40% of our travellers affected, compared to just 25% in 2019.
“But most importantly, changes and cancellations happened at much shorter notice than before the pandemic. In 2019, passengers were notified on average 54 days prior to departure that their flights had been changed or cancelled. In 2022, that average was just 39 days.
“This year is likely to be even busier and, with staff shortages and strikes continuing to cause disruption worldwide, we expect the cancellations window to shrink even further. Therefore, the travel industry must act swiftly to adopt technology that can help minimise the impact of these disruptions on travellers. This could include implementing automated rebooking and refund tools, or even AI-powered customer service systems.”