Running On Empty (Almost). Airports In The Western U.S. Are Experiencing Fuel Shortages.

FILE - This June 7, 2021, file photo shows an American Airlines aircraft at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. A key senator is asking six U.S. airlines, including American, to explain the high rates of delayed and canceled flights this summer, and she's asking whether there are labor shortages despite the airlines getting billions in federal aid to keep workers on the job. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

As if airlines haven’t had enough things to deal with in the past 18 months, now here’s something new that’s probably keeping leadership of the big carriers up at night. 

There’s a fuel shortage at several US airports in the Western part of the country. 

What that means is the airlines are having a hard time meeting the incredible demand for leisure travel that Americans are showing. 

One part of the problem is the fact that there aren’t enough truck drivers to deliver the fuel to the airports. How bad is it? Roughly 20% of the bug tankers that would be criss crossing the U.S. are sitting idle because there simply aren’t enough people that know how to drive them. 

It’s the same thing gas stations have been dealing with for months. 

Here’s another issue. During the pandemic, pipelines got away from moving jet fuel because there was almost no air travel.  Now they are trying to ramp that up to previous outputs. 

Here’s the states where the issue is most serious: Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. 

Those are also the states a lot of people want to visit, with Montana traffic up over 25% from pre-pandemic numbers. 

Savvy airlines are sending aircrafts to those states with more fuel than they might normally need, because of the shortage. 

American Airlines announced that they might even have their planes divert in flight for unscheduled fuel stops. 

If you are planning on traveling in the coming weeks, watch for any possible cancellations, especially if your destination is to a state scrambling to find fuel. 

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