More than 3,500 flights canceled so far over Memorial Day weekend

Airline travelers aren’t just in for a surprise this Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer travel season. They are also dealing with a lot of flight cancellations.

More than 1,500 flights were canceled as of 9:50 p.m. EDT on Saturday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. That followed more than 2,300 cancellations on Friday.

Delta Air Lines suffered the most among US airlines, with more than 250 flights, or 9% of its operations, eliminated on Saturday. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, where Delta is headquartered and has its largest hub, experienced extensive travel delays. On Saturday, 5% of flights there were cancelled, while 16% were delayed.

Flight Cancellations Memorial Day Weekend
Travelers queue to go through the north security checkpoint in the main terminal at Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver.

David Zalubowski/AP

Delta said in an email to The Associated Press that Saturday’s cancellations were due to bad weather and “air traffic control actions,” noting that it is trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours in advance this weekend. of Memorial Day.

Delta announced on its website Thursday that, from July 1 to August 7, it would reduce service by about 100 daily departures, primarily to parts of the US and Latin America where Delta frequently operates.

“More than at any other time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation — air traffic and weather control, vendor staffing, rising rates of COVID cases contributing to higher unscheduled absences than planned in some task forces) are resulting in an operation that is not consistently up to the standards that Delta has set for the industry over the past several years,” said Allison Ausband, director of customer experience for Delta, in a post.

Airlines and tourist destinations are anticipating mobs of monsters this summer as travel restrictions ease and pandemic fatigue overcomes lingering fears of contracting COVID-19 while traveling.

Many forecasters believe that the number of travelers will match or even exceed the levels of the old days before the pandemic. However, airlines have thousands fewer employees than in 2019, and that has at times contributed to widespread flight cancellations.

People who are just now booking travel for the summer are experiencing the shock sticker.

Domestic airfares for summer are averaging more than $400 round-trip, up 24% from 2019, before the pandemic, and up a solid 45% from a year ago, according to the firm. Hopper travel data.

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