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By The Way
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Will pilot strikes disrupt my summer flights? Here’s what to know.

While walkouts by Southwest and other airline pilots are unlikely, experts warn it could be “a very difficult summer”

Photo illustration of three airplanes being held up like protest signs
(Illustration by Kat Brooks/The Washington Post; iStock)

Americans are gearing up for an expensive and crowded summer vacation season, and the travel industry has some kinks to iron out. Staffing shortages, a recent history of meltdowns and safety concerns aren’t exactly inspiring confidence in fliers. Adding to the mix of variables, pilots from multiple carriers have voted to strike.

On Thursday, pilots at Southwest Airlines became the latest group to authorize a strike, joining American Airlines pilots who announced the same result of a vote earlier this month. United Airlines pilots haven’t voted on a strike, but did picket at major airports Friday.

Air travel demand may fuel another record summer. Here’s what will be different.

While the potential strikes and picket lines aren’t expected to ground planes, “it’s one more thing that the passenger has to think about,” said Omar Kaywan, co-founder of Goose Insurance.

Here’s what to know about potential strikes ahead of a busy summer season.

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