Busy July 4th Travel Weekend Doused in Flight Delays
By: Eric Wang
As travel numbers surge back to pre-pandemic levels, thousands of delays and cancellations are making it even worse.
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) reports that 2,490,490 people were screened by TSA officers on Friday, July 1st. As TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said in a tweet, “It was the highest checkpoint volume since Feb. 11, 2020, when 2,507,588 people were screened. We are back to pre-pandemic checkpoint volume.”
According to flight tracker FlightAware, 464 domestic and international flights were canceled, and more than 6600 were delayed on Friday, July 1st. Sunday morning, over 930 flights were delayed and more than 200 were canceled. From Friday to Sunday, over 16 thousand flights were delayed and over 1500 canceled.
As reported by NBC News, “New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport had the highest rate of delays and cancellations.” It didn’t help that an unattended bag in JFK airport caused an evacuation of terminal 4.
Understaffing has become a major problem in airlines, especially the pilot shortage. This has led to some airlines cutting thousands of flights in advance. Some airline executives have also blamed understaffing at the FAA or Federal Aviation Administration for the delays and cancellations.
Many people have been affected by this wave of delays, including me. As I was traveling from Washington DC to Newark, the flight got delayed for 5 entire hours.
FlightAware spokesperson Kathleen Bangs says she expects the wave of cancellations to stabilize by fall while airlines rush to hire more staff and pilots. For the sake of all travelers, hopefully this crisis will be resolved.
Original Article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/record-july-4th-travel-weekend-thousands-flights-delayed-cancelled-rcna36497