NEW YORK – It’s not just airline travelers Face sticker shock on Memorial Day weekendThe beginning of the summer travel season. They’re also dealing with a backlog of flight cancellations.
More than 1,300 flights have been canceled as of 3:45 p.m. EDT Sunday, according to the flight-tracking website. FlightAware. This came after more than 1,500 cancellations on Saturday and 2,300 on Friday.
Delta Air Lines has suffered the most, with more than 250 flights, or 9% of its operations, being canceled on Saturday. The cancellations continued through Sunday, with nearly 160 flights canceled, or 6% of its operations.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where Delta is based and its largest hub, has been hit hard by delays and cancellations. On Saturday, 5% of flights there were canceled, and 19% were delayed. By Sunday, 3% and . were canceled 4% delay.
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Delta indicated in an email to the Associated Press that Saturday’s cancellation was a result of bad weather and “air traffic control measures,” noting that it was trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours before Memorial Day weekend.
Delta announced on its website Thursday that from July 1 to August 7, it will reduce service by about 100 daily flights, primarily in parts of the United States and Latin America that Delta serves frequently.
“More than at any time in our history, the various factors currently affecting our operations — weather and air traffic control, vendor personnel, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some workgroups — are driving a process in which to operate,” Allison said. Abend, Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer, Alison Abend in one of the positions:
Meanwhile, at Newark Liberty International in New Jersey, dozens of flights were canceled or delayed.
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Airlines and tourist destinations are expecting huge crowds this summer as travel restrictions ease and pandemic fatigue overcomes the persistent fear of contracting COVID-19 while travelling.
Many forecasters believe that the number of travelers will match or even exceed levels that existed before the pandemic. But airlines have thousands of fewer employees than they did in 2019, and that has at times contributed to widespread flight cancellations.
People who are now only booking summer travel are suffering from sticker shock.
Domestic airfares for the summer average more than $400 a round trip, 24% higher than this time in 2019, before the pandemic, and 45% higher than last year, according to travel data company Huber.
Contributing: Associated Press writers David Koenig in Dallas and Grace Hook from USA Today in Chicago contributed to this report.
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