All hands on deck in travel industry trying to cope with grounding of planes

It’s pretty much all hands on deck in the travel industry at the moment, as passengers scramble to make other arrangements following the grounding of the entire fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

The planes typically carry thousands of passengers a day, so the airlines are scrambling to swap planes and crews.

The grounding of the entire-fleet of jets has thrown a serious wrench into the travel plans of millions on this continent alone.

“What we’re seeing this week is a serious domino effect,” said Julia Kent of CAA Atlantic.

All of this is happening during the busy march break season in much of the country – including Nova Scotia and P.E.I.

Travel agents are scrambling to keep up as passengers look to verify plans and make sure their trips are still on.

Experts say those with travel insurance ought to be covered for any disruptions, and for now, airlines are absorbing the extra-costs.

Whether that’ll translate into higher-fares down the road is less clear.

“Well that remains to be seen,” said Kent. “You know, it’s how quickly and efficiently can these companies, these airlines, adapt to what the government has forced them to do. We need to remember here this is a government mandated thing.”

All of this more than a little difficult for teachers like Michael Wilson, leading a large group from New Germany Rural High School.

They’ve been fundraising for this trip for ages.

“It’s been a big process, it’s been a couple of years, and we have 51 people travelling, so definitely we wanted to make sure everything would go off without a hitch,” Wilson said. “And, thankfully, right now, everything is good, and we’re one of the lucky ones, so …”

Lucky, too, are the Conways, who did see one flight changed.

“Yep, the hours are all the same,” says Ronald Conway. “She’s still connecting in Toronto, and flying to Zurich, and no problem.”

It’s pretty clear the grounding of the planes is having an impact during this busy travel week, but that impact appears to be minimal at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, at least for now.

Still, experts are warning travelers to expect delays this week as the airlines scramble to deal with the situation, which in many ways has come at the worst possible time.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.





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