Every day, I compile the day’s top 12 travel news headlines so I thought for the Sunday Roundup, I would pull what I think are the top 12 travel stories of the week. Here’s this week’s:

June 19-26

U.S. screened 2.45 million air passengers Friday, highest since early 2020
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened 2.45 million air passengers on Friday, the highest daily number since February 2020. The number was however below the 2.73 million screened on the same day in 2019. The high traffic was despite weather and staffing issues resulting in travel disruptions. On Friday, U.S. airlines canceled 711 flights and delayed more than 6,000, according to FlightAware (Reuters)

JetBlue ups offer for Spirit Airlines again, now totaling $3.7 billion
With the likelihood improving of a successful bid for Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways has raised its offer for the discounter a second time in as many weeks. The New York-based airline is now offering Spirit shareholders $33.50 per share, or a total of $3.7 billion, JetBlue said Monday. That is a $2 per share improvement over its last offer of $31.50 a share that it made on June 6, and $0.50 more than it initial offer in April of $33 per share. (skift.com)

Frontier sweetens its deal for Spirit Airlines
Spirit late Friday said Frontier raised its per-share offer and also the fee it would pay in the “unlikely event” that their merger doesn’t pass muster with antitrust regulators. Shares of Frontier fell nearly 2% in the extended session Friday, while Spirit shares edged 0.5% lower. JetBlue shares fell 0.4%. Based on Frontier’s “improved terms,” Spirit’s board said it reiterates a unanimous recommendation that Spirit shareholders vote for the merger with Frontier, the company said. (MarketWatch)

AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel for July 4th
Summer travel is already in full swing and Independence Day will be no exception as AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4). This is an increase of 3.7% over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019. The biggest surprise – car travel – will set a new record despite historically high gas prices with 42 million people hitting the road. With crowded roads and busy airports, AAA wants to prepare travelers so they can have a stress-free July 4th celebration. (AAA Newsroom)
 
New Omicron subvariant swamping the U.S. escapes immunity from vaccination and previous infections, new studies say
The United States’ newly dominant Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, are evading vaccine and infection-acquired immunity, scientists have found. The subvariants recently caused a fresh wave of infections in South Africa, and are pushing the U.K. to the brink of another wave of the disease. BA.5 recently became the dominant subvariant in the U.S., accounting for almost a quarter of COVID infections last week, while BA.4 made up just over 11% of new cases, CDC data showed. (Fortune)

Lufthansa expects flight operations to return to normal in 2023
Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) does not expect its global airline operations to return to normal until 2023 after staff shortages and booming demand amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions forced it to cancel some flights, Die Welt newspaper reported on Saturday. “Unfortunately, a short-term improvement now in the summer is hardly realistic,” Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser told Die Welt, adding the problem is global rather than exclusive to Germany and the only way out is to reduce the number of flights. (Reuters)

London train and Tube strike: Union chief warns more strikes to come if deal not agreed on third day of travel chaos
Travel plans face major disruption on Saturday as rail workers strike for the third time this week and union supremo Mick Lynch warned there will be more strikes this year if a deal is not agreed. “We won’t hesitate to use more industrial action if we can’t reach an agreement or if the companies carry through their threats to make people redundant,” he told Sky News. (Evening Standard)

Airlines aim to shift blame for flight problems to FAA
Airlines under scrutiny for widespread flight disruptions are renewing their criticism of the government agency that manages the nation’s airspace, saying that understaffing at the Federal Aviation Administration is “crippling” traffic along the East Coast. The FAA shot back, with a reference to taxpayer money that airlines received after the pandemic devastated air travel. “People expect when they buy an airline ticket that they’ll get where they need to go safely, efficiently, reliably and affordably,” the FAA said in a statement. “After receiving $54 billion in pandemic relief to help save the airlines from mass layoffs and bankruptcy, the American people deserve to have their expectations met.” (msn.com)

European Union to Start Charging Visitors a Fee in 2023
It’s going to get more expensive and more complicated to visit the European Union (EU) next year. It’s not a lot of money but it’s one more fee and one more step which is never good news. (JohnnyJet.com)

United Airlines to cut 50 daily flights at Newark starting July 1
United Airlines announced it will cut 50 daily departures from Newark, New Jersey, this summer beginning July 1, a 12% reduction of the carrier’s schedule there. The airline said Thursday that passengers whose flights are affected will be contacted about alternative options. United’s Executive Vice President of Operations Jon Roitman said in a statement that the move is meant to keep things operating smoother after a series of bad days so far this summer. (usatoday.com)

Two Crystal Cruises ships will resume service in 2023 under new owners
After suspending operations earlier this year, Crystal Cruises will set sail again. A&K Travel Group, owned by Geoffrey Kent of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent and industrial holding company Heritage, purchased the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony ships, the companies announced Wednesday. (USA Today)

3 hospitalized after commercial plane landing gear collapsed at Miami International Airport
Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries Tuesday after the landing gear of a Red Air flight from the Dominican Republic collapsed as it landed at the Miami International Airport, spokesman Greg Chin told CNN. The flight was arriving from Santo Domingo at 5:30 p.m. when the gear collapsed and caused a fire. Chin said 126 passengers were on board the plane. Three people were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, he said. (CNN)

 

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