A crowd of people waiting to board the plane (photo by Eric Bowman)
Despite a disruptive start to the Fourth of July weekend that airlines already saw coming, flight disruptions have relatively eased just ahead of the holiday.
According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, nearly 6,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were delayed on Saturday. However, cancellations were limited to just 654 and those figures were down significantly from the busy start to the July 4th weekend on Friday.
JetBlue and Southwest Airlines were among the most heavily impacted by sustained operational challenges and disruptive weather on Saturday, with the former experiencing delays on nearly half of its schedule and the latter reporting more than 1,000 flight delays that affected nearly one-third of its Saturday flight schedule.
American Airlines reported nearly 900 flight delays (28 percent), United Airlines saw 490 flights arrive behind schedule (21 percent) and Delta Air Lines experienced more than 530 flight delays (18 percent).
Airports experiencing the most delays on Saturday included Dallas-Fort Worth International (252), John F. Kennedy International (248), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (214), Charlotte Douglas International (193) and Chicago’s O’Hare International (192). Boston Logan and Denver International also reported more than 150 flight delays apiece.
As of 10 a.m. ET Sunday, more than 210 flights within, into or out of the U.S. have been canceled and another 940 have been delayed, FlightAware reports. Those figures will surely rise as the day wears on.
The disruptions are nothing new to air travelers though as passenger volume nears pre-pandemic levels and airlines continue to battle pilot and other staffing shortages. In anticipation of holiday weekend headaches, Delta issued a systemwide fare difference waiver for July 1-4 and CEO Ed Bastian apologized in an email to the airline’s SkyMiles members, calling the delays and cancellations “unacceptable.”
As always, travelers are advised to check their flight status with their airline prior to arriving at the airport.
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