Supply and demand from flight cancellations hit travelers
(NewsNation) — Southwest Airlines’ torrent of flight cancellations is revealing different approaches from business owners to the chaos rippling from airports nationwide.
In some cities, demand for transportation is outstripping supply, hiking up the cost of other means of travel.
“I’m paying $1,800 for one day. So that means the rental car companies are gouging those who are stuck,” said Bill Spencer, a traveler planning to drive a rental car from Las Vegas to Seattle to pick up his lost luggage, then fly home to Texas — a hefty cost for a mistake that wasn’t his.
“The cost I would safely say doubled if not tripled. There are many people who cannot do that. So they just skipped getting together (with) their family. It’s out of the question; it’s so expensive,” Sandra Curry, a traveler, told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday.
In some places, rental car costs are up 30 to 50%. Within Las Vegas itself, however, some rides are free.
The gentleman’s club, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, is offering free rides from the Las Vegas airport to those “fallen victim to holiday travel delays.”
“If you have a canceled flight ticket. We’re offering airport pickup, your first drink on us, free admission and your first free dance,” Brittany Rose, the assistant general manager at the club, told “Rush Hour” on Wednesday.
Ralph James, general manager of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club Las Vegas, told NewsNation affiliate KLAS that he’s just doing what he can to help.
“With the current state of Harry Reid International Airport, many holiday travelers have been left stranded and may not make it home for the unforeseeable future, possibly until after the New Year,” James said. “We are doing our part by opening our doors to travelers who are most affected to ensure their extended stay in Las Vegas is a memorable one.”
All travelers have to do is show proof of a canceled flight and the club will provide refuge from the airport — and a lapdance. So far, around 100 people have taken them up on the offer.
The gentleman’s club looks like it will have repeat customers, as well, as 99% of Southwest flights are to be canceled again Thursday. It’s an issue even travel agents say is out of their control.
In the meantime, travel experts suggest those seeking to drive look for a rental location away from airports, as non-airport locations most likely have more available inventory.