THOUSANDS of flight cancellations and delays have caused frustrating chaos for millions of Americans hoping to travel over the holiday weekend.
As of Sunday night, more than 933 flights were canceled and at least 8,498 flights were delayed due to bad weather as well as understaffing, according to FlightAware.
The July 4 weekend chaos was compounded by Tropical Storm Bonnie and Tropical Storm Colin.
Tropical Storm Colin enforced storm warnings for much of the coastal Carolinas this weekend and would affect July 4 rallies with heavy rain.
Colin originated near Florida’s east coast on Saturday, then traveled to Georgia before moving inland over South Carolina.
Tropical Storm Bonnie is worsening weather conditions in the south as Reuters predicts the storm will intensify into a hurricane off the coast of Mexico.
Over the past week, thousands of flights have been canceled, American and Delta canceled most air travel as Delta pilots protest working conditions, according to NBC News.
Canceled flights are subject to an email warning from Delta notifying it of “operational issues” and urging travelers to rebook trips without “fare difference or change fees”.
However, Delta pilots and flight attendants were pictured Thursday participating in an information picket at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
A Delta Airlines pilot, who wished to remain anonymous, told WSB-TV why so many flights are being canceled.
He told the outlet: ‘Clearly there is a shortage of airline pilots across the board for most domestic airlines.
“They are caused by personnel problems. They go way beyond pilots who just get sick,” the pilot said.
“We are not the only ones canceling these flights, but what we feel, and me as a pilot and many of my colleagues, is that Delta has somehow retreated to this position.
In a statement to WSB, Delta said, “Delta’s teams continue to manage safely through aggravating factors affecting our operation, including higher than expected unplanned absences in some of our workgroups.
“Cancelling a flight is always our last resort, and we sincerely apologize to our customers.”
FIGURES BEFORE THE PANDEMIC
Traffic comes as Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein reported that TSA agents screened 2,490,490 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide on Friday, July 1.
The number is the highest since February 11, 2020, when 2,507,588 people were screened.
“We’re back to pre-pandemic checkpoint volume,” Farbstein wrote.
A high-volume airport, JFK in New York, was evacuated on Sunday morning as police rushed to a “security incident” at Terminal 4.
Officials warned there would be “residual traffic delays” that could delay access to the airport for passengers in addition to existing travel complications.