Experts say if you’re flying for the holidays booking sooner rather than later would be wise, especially with airlines offering more flexibility than ever.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Congress is facing off tonight over the fate of airlines. President Trump has urged legislators to pass 25 billion dollars for airline payroll support, but house speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing back.
All of it could affect your travel plans and your wallet.
With Congress unable to agree on a new relief bill, the deadline for a deal passed October 1, pushing more than 32,000 airline employees onto the unemployment line.
“These are people who have been on the front lines since the beginning of this virus-fighting, it’s cruel and it’s got to be reversed,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.
Airlines have already started slashing flight schedules. American removed 86,000 flights, 46 percent from its November schedule alone.
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United Airlines has also reduced its flight plan for the same time period by 52 percent.
“The airlines have been much, much more inclined to do major surgery on their schedules, even after they’re published,” said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
“With the number of folks who have been laid off and airlines really being a bit more feeling a bit more precarious about their prospects of getting another bailout from Congress,” Keyes said.
Keyes added if you’re flying for the holidays booking sooner rather than later would be wise, especially with airlines offering more flexibility than ever.
“I would kind of set the end of October as my sort of internal deadline,” he said. “The fact that the airlines have gotten rid of those change fees for 2020 even for Basic Economy bookings, really puts travelers in an advantageous position where they can make their plans in pencil rather than pen.”
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After first walking away from negotiations, President Trump said this week he supports a targeted aid package for the airlines, but house democrats want a bigger package that includes families and small businesses too.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she won’t support an airline bailout without a broader deal.
“There is no standalone bill without a bigger bill,” Pelosi said.
Meanwhile, airline CEOs are urging congress to act as thousands of furloughed airline employees grapple with uncertainty.