NEW YORK (AP) – Air travelers are not just experiencing sticker shocks this Memorial Day weekend, the starting shot for this summer’s travel season. They are also dealing with a bunch of canceled flights.
More than 1,500 flights were canceled at 21:50 EDT on Saturday, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. More than 2,300 cancellations followed on Friday.
Delta Air Lines suffered the most among US airlines, with more than 250 flights, or 9% of operations, eliminated on Saturday. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, where Delta is based and has its largest hub, experienced major travel delays. On Saturday, 5% of flights there were canceled, while 1[ads1]6% were delayed.
Delta noted in an email to The Associated Press that Saturday’s cancellations were due to bad weather and “flight control actions”, noting that they are trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours in advance this Memorial Day weekend.
Delta announced on its website on Thursday that from July 1 to August 7, they will reduce the service by around 100 daily departures, primarily in parts of the United States and Latin America that Delta often serves.
“More than ever in our history, the various factors that currently affect our operations – weather and air traffic control, supplier staffing, increased covid cases that contribute to higher than planned unplanned absences in some work groups – result in an operation that is inconsistent up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years, ”said Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband in a post.
Airlines and tourist destinations are expecting monster crowds this summer as travel restrictions ease and pandemic fatigue overcomes the persistent fear of getting covid-19 while traveling.
Many forecasters believe that the number of travelers will match or even exceed the levels of the good old, pre-pandemic days. However, the airlines have thousands fewer employees than they had in 2019, and this has at times contributed to extensive cancellations of flights.
People who only now book trips for the summer, experience the sticker shock.
Domestic airline prices for the summer are on average more than $ 400 for a round trip, 24% higher than this time in 2019, before the pandemic, and a robust 45% higher than a year ago, according to travel data company Hopper.
AP Airlines writer David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.