June 28, 2022

It's Tuesday. Rejoice that it's not Monday.

☀️ We should be getting a break from grey skies and intermittent rain today. The sun will be out with a high of 80.

Today's newsletter is 857 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Flight delays and staffing shortages hit Philly

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Philadelphia isn't immune to the labor pressures disrupting summer vacation plans across the country.

The big picture: Facing staffing shortages, airlines have been struggling to keep pace with a sudden upswing in demand, Axios' Nathan Bomey reports. Many are responding by cutting flights and reducing their commitments to regional airports.

  • And it's not just your Fourth of July trip that's in jeopardy. Some industry officials told Axios airline staff shortages could extend well into 2023.

Driving the news: On Monday, there were roughly 180 total delays and 27 cancellations at Philadelphia International Airport, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

  • Over recent weeks, it's become typical for more than 100 flights to be delayed or canceled at PHL.
  • American Airlines announced last week it's ending two service routes from PHL into New York state due to a pilot shortage, effective Sept. 7.

Catch up fast: Airlines had two years and billions of dollars in federal aid to make sure they were ready for passengers.

  • Yes, but: The demand returned with a vengeance and many airlines don't have enough people to fly planes, serve passengers, or unload bags.
  • Meanwhile, travel rates are outpacing inflation.

By the numbers: Philadelphia International Airport expects 7.7 million passengers to travel through its terminals between June and August, which is just 18% below this period in 2019, its highest on record.

  • Travel may not be back to pre-pandemic levels, but it's 13% over this time last year.

What to watch: Some U.S. airlines are offering to boost their pay to attract or retain workers.

  • American's regional carriers Piedmont and Envoy, which both fly under the American Eagle brand, gave big raises to their pilots, including a temporary 50% pay hike through the end of August 2024.
  • American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said this month that the airline will offer bigger raises for its 14,000 mainline pilots.
  • Still, higher labor rates could accelerate a phaseout of small regional jets, which would leave small markets unconnected to large hub airports.

2. Plus: Summer travels tips

Philadelphia International Airport on June 20. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Now that you know what you're up against, let's try to mitigate the inconvenience.

Here are some tips for you not to lose your mind while attempting to travel, according to Kate Sullivan, deputy director of strategic partnerships at Philadelphia International Airport:

  • Build in some flexibility. There's a chance your flight could get delayed, so be prepared for that. In other words, don't plan a flight that is only two hours ahead of your family wedding.
  • Arrive early. Sullivan recommends coming to the airport three hours before your flight to ensure you have time for parking, ticketing, and check-in.
  • Check flight frequencies. Know when the next flight is available in case yours gets canceled.

One other tidbit ... Be prepared for crowded flights. "Do not count on an empty seat next to you," Sullivan says, particularly if you're traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean.

  • Those flights have "the most passengers we've ever seen," Sullivan adds.

3. Charted: 🔋 We're a Tesla town

Top five EVs in the Philadelphia area
Data: S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit); Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

It's not even a competition. Tesla dominates Philly's and the growing U.S. electric vehicle market, despite plenty of new plug-in models from competitors.

The big picture: Teslas accounted for 61% of all EVs registered in the U.S. in April, the latest month for which data is available, Axios' Joann Muller writes.

Between the lines: The Elon Musk-led automaker pioneered the EV movement more than a decade ago, but only now is U.S. demand starting to take off.

  • EV registrations have doubled over the past year, to about 5% of all new cars, and shoppers have dozens of new choices with many more on the way.

Go deeper: Tesla's in the lead as U.S. electric car sales get supercharged

💡 Want to discover more about what's changing in how we work, play and get around? Sign up for the Axios What's Next newsletter.

4. News Market

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🕯 Philadelphia firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson was laid to rest at his funeral Monday morning. He died in a building collapse following a fire in the Fairhill neighborhood earlier this month. (6ABC)

📈 Philadelphia law firms are undergoing a hiring spike. Firms increased the size of their summer associate programs by 28% to meet the climbing demand. (The Philadelphia Business Journal)

City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson failed to disclose income from his rental properties last year, according to a review of property and ethics records. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

🍦 Cool off with this guide to the most essential ice cream shops in town. (Eater Philadelphia)

Fresh job openings around town

💼 Take your career to the next level and see who’s hiring.

  1. Email Marketing Lead at American Heart Association.
  2. Account Executive, Software Sales, Axios HQ at Axios.
  3. Social Media Associate at Ceisler Media.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a Job.

5. 👀 Stat du jour: Watching swing voters

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to support the Republican Party over the last year, while 630,000 became Democrats, according to voter registration data analyzed by the Associated Press.

  • In Pennsylvania, Republicans went from 58% to 63% of party switchers.

Between the lines: The phenomenon has played out virtually everywhere, but Republicans are particularly gaining traction in the suburbs, per AP.

  • The party benefited as suburban parents grew frustrated with pandemic-related school closures.
  • The Republican National Committee has seized the opportunity recently by hosting voter registration events at gas stations in suburban areas here, and across other swing states like Arizona, Michigan and Nevada.
  • It's part of an attempt to link high gas prices to the Biden administration.

Read AP's full story.

🥄 Taylor is still daydreaming about the rainbow water ice she had at Fred's Water Ice.