American travelers face a new wave of chaos as flight cancellations continue

<span>Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/ aCEJLvxr3fePcVDE8kFcKA–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/″ data-src=” .dvVN9Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/ /04828d1d2fb03acbdc0843dfa9e16794″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

Travelers were subjected to a new wave of flight chaos in the US on Sunday, with around 1,000 flights cancelled. The figure added to some 14,000 flights into, out of or into the US that were canceled or delayed on Friday and Saturday.

Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta was one of the hardest-hit airports, with the facility seeing passengers stranded over the weekend as Delta canceled or changed dozens of scheduled flights.

Delta previously blamed the delays and cancellations on increased sick calls due to Covid-19, bad weather and vendor staffing. Last week, it said it planned to cancel 100 daily flights in July and August to avoid disruption to summer travel.

“A variety of factors continue to affect our operations, including challenges with air traffic control, weather, and unscheduled absences on some task forces,” a Delta spokesperson said Saturday.

The Atlanta-based airline has been one of the hardest hit during the recent surge in disruption. It canceled 700 flights out of 2,400 collectively canceled flights over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, which was the highest number of any US airline that weekend.

Among the airports with the highest number of cancellations are the American Airlines hub, Charlotte Douglas, in North Carolina; LaGuardia and Newark Liberty in the New York City area; and Reagan Washington National of Washington DC.

Last week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met virtually with several major airline CEOs to discuss challenges facing the industry and push airline executives to improve service ahead of the July 4 holiday. .

“Air travelers should be able to look forward to reliable service as demand returns to levels not seen since before the pandemic,” Buttigieg said. he tweeted on friday. A day after the conference call, Buttigieg’s domestic flight was canceled and he ended up driving from Washington to New York.

“That’s happening to a lot of people, and that’s exactly why we’re paying a lot of attention here to what can be done and how to make sure airlines comply,” he told the Associated Press in an interview on Saturday.

Buttigieg said his department is considering punishing airlines with penalties if they don’t meet consumer protection standards. During the meeting, airline executives said they were taking steps to prevent a repeat of Memorial Day travel problems.

“Now we’re going to see how those steps compare,” Buttigieg said.

The pressure on airlines to improve performance comes as demand for air travel has picked up sharply. About 2.4 million people passed through TSA security checkpoints at US airports on Friday, near a pandemic-era high recorded during Thanksgiving.

While weather is considered the biggest disruptor to summer travel, the airline industry is scrambling to hire or rehire pilots, cabin crew and airport staff laid off or incentivized to quit during the pandemic.

Shortages at the Federal Aviation Administration, which is under the control of Buttigieg’s department, have contributed to flight delays, especially in Florida. The Transportation Security Administration has created a roving force of 1,000 screeners that can be dispatched to airports when lines at checkpoints get too long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.