August 25, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image: Karen Livermore from ID Events Australia

Executive director of sales for ID Events Australia Karen Livermore says people travelling to the United States of America should expect to be delayed and urged travellers to take carry-on luggage only.

Livermore has just returned from an extensive business trip to one of Australia’s most important incentive markets and she described the aviation environment as chaotic.

micenet asked her about her experience.

“One word. It’s chaos,” she said.

“It used to take around 20 minutes to do a bag-drop, which included the self-serve kiosk luggage printing and the queue to drop bags. Now the bag queues are similar to security lines. So, arriving two hours before domestic departures is not enough,” she said.

“Airports are busy and there are minimal staff working in key areas. I took flights departing at 7am from small airports which are normally easy to navigate. These airports are now just as chaotic as the larger ones, mostly due to low staff numbers and high demand.

She said corporate travellers should be prepared for difficulties.

“Expect to be delayed, but, more importantly, the future of business travel is carry-on luggage – period,” she said.

Asked whether she thought operations would be rectified soon or whether travellers should brace for extended periods of chaos, Livermore feared the worst.

“Demand is unprecedented, not just from the business traveller but also the leisure market.

“It’s a perfect storm of chaos which I don’t think the airlines will get through for some time. I plan to take carry-on luggage in future, though I see challenges with this too.”

She said during the last six domestic US flights she took recently, flight crew where routinely checking bags in on the aerobridge as overhead lockers were full.

“This was happening when the aircraft was only half-boarded. Unless you travel business class or have status and priority boarding, your bag may still end up checked into the aircraft hull. Though at least you can feel reasonably assured it is on the plane,” Livermore said.