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Canadians’ vacation plans hit by inflation, airline delays: Leger survey

1 in 3 have cancelled their vacations due to rising prices, survey finds

A third of Canadians have changed or cancelled their vacation plans due to inflation, according to a new survey by Leger.

Of those who have changed their vacation plans, 46 per cent are also cutting back on dining out, found the July survey of 1,526 Canadians.

Inflation slowed to 2.8 per cent in June, but the price of groceries continued to climb, with prices rising 9.1 per cent last month, Statistics Canada said. Lower inflation was led by a decline in gasoline prices compared with last year, the agency reported.

In addition to concerns about inflation, Canadians are also feeling the sting of flight delays and cancellations when it comes to their vacation plans.

Delays, cancellations and lost luggage were the hallmarks of air travel as the industry ramped up to meet demand amid loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

Almost half of Canadians surveyed by Leger said they think airlines aren’t reliable when it comes to their departures and arrivals.

Six in 10 Canadians who have taken at least one flight in the past year said they have experienced flight delays, while two in 10 experienced cancellations. Almost two in 10 experienced baggage delays, while another 10 per cent experienced lost baggage.

Because of these disruptions, more than half of Canadians said they are looking to book only direct flights.

Thirty-five per cent of Canadians said they’re planning to go on vacation this summer, the Leger poll found.

Among those who said they have changed their vacation plans due to inflation, 43 per cent said they are opting for less expensive accommodation options, while 41 per cent are cutting back on activities and attractions and 39 per cent are taking a shorter trip.

In May, Greater Toronto Airports Authority president and CEO Deborah Flint said Pearson Airport had hired 10,000 new employees since the previous summer to handle rising demand, and modernized some of its systems.

Those new hires have helped increase baggage system reliability, cut security wait times and decreased holds on board aircraft, Flint announced Tuesday.

However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing this summer. Over the Canada Day long weekend, Air Canada delayed or cancelled almost 2,000 flights, with passengers posting photos online of long lines and busy terminals that hearkened back to last year’s chaos.

The airline at the time said it may take longer to recover from an issue along the system when a network is running at full tilt, and said thunderstorms in the Montreal area and the U.S. contributed to the disruptions.

READ ALSO: From missing family time to making food, Canadians are cutting back amid inflation