Is a Government Shutdown Going to Affect Air Travel?

Ah, government shutdowns…the Congressional version of a temper tantrum. You know, those magical times when politicians in DC decide they’d rather squabble like toddlers over a toy than keep the government running smoothly. But hey, who needs a functioning government when you’ve got a beach trip planned to escape this circus, am I right?

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: air travel. Ah yes, the agonizing process of sitting in an overly air conditioned airport, clutching a $7 cup of mediocre coffee, and praying to the travel gods that your flight isn’t delayed again. According to experts and government docs, a government shutdown is unlikely to mess with this well-choreographed ballet of inconvenience. 

Agencies like the FAA, TSA, and Customs will still operate because…shocker…the folks patting you down and ensuring you don’t crash mid-air are considered “essential.” What will be on hold are things like hiring and training—so essentially, the already slow bureaucratic gears will grind even slower. But hey, as long as I don’t have to swap my window seat for a Congressional debate, I’m good.

Is a Government Shutdown Going to Affect Air Travel? (LAX)

Flight Schedules Could Go Psycho in a Shutdown

Secondly, let’s talk about the American psyche. Apparently, 60% of my fellow Americans are likely to cancel or rethink their travel plans if the government throws its toys out of the pram. And honestly, can you blame them? Nobody wants to risk getting stranded in an airport when Uncle Sam decides to take a nap. 

But here’s the kicker: this hesitancy en masse could have a ripple effect on flight schedules. Airlines aren’t dummies; they use complex algorithms to adjust flight schedules based on demand. Fewer passengers could mean fewer flights, and if you thought finding a convenient flight was hard before, just wait until algorithms get involved. It’s like your dating app suddenly deciding you’re only compatible with people who think the Earth is flat.

Watch the (Ever-Popular and Trustworthy) News for Updates

Lastly, here’s my public service announcement: If you’re planning on traveling soon, keep a hawk-like eye on this unfolding drama. While your immediate travel plans might not be torpedoed, the economic repercussions are not to be sneezed at. According to the U.S. Travel Association, a government shutdown could cost the travel economy up to $140 million per day. That’s a lot of lost mai tais and novelty beach towels, my friends.

A government shutdown is not the end of the world, but it’s not a walk in the park either. Keep your plans, but maybe keep a browser tab open to C-SPAN too. Because in these unpredictable times, the only thing you can count on is that someone, somewhere, is arguing about something that has the potential to inconvenience you.

Get The Latest News and Info...

Get the very latest news, travel tips and guides to help make your trips cheaper and more fun. Enter your email below and click ‘GET ACCESS’:

Kenneth Holland

Kenneth Holland - SkyGoFly Founder

Follow me on social…