Nearly 4,000 flights have been cancelled over Memorial Day Weekend, with airlines citing bad weather conditions and ‘air traffic control actions,’ as passengers continue to pay top-dollar for airfare.
Americans are paying more than $400 for domestic flights, a 24 percent price increase from before the COVID-19 pandemic, yet airlines cannot meet the surging travel demands.
In addition to soaring ticket prices, which Fox News reported are 45 percent higher than this time last year, passengers are finding their travel plans disrupted by route cancellations and significant delays.
More than 1,500 flights were cancelled worldwide on Saturday, which followed over 2,300 cancellations on Friday. Global passengers also saw more than 14,400 and 17,500 delayed flights on Saturday and Friday, respectively.
The trend appears to be continuing into Sunday, with over 900 cancellations and nearly 5,000 delays worldwide, as of 9am EST, according to tracking service Flight Aware.
The Federal Aviation Association says staffing issues and traffic volumes are causing many of the nation’s largest airports to experience ground stops and delays, limiting takeoffs and landings.
In response, airlines have begun to scrap certain routes and reduce summer flight plans, as well as cut back on training requirements in an effort to get more pilots in the skies as quickly as possible.
Nearly 4,000 flights have been cancelled over Memorial Day Weekend due to staffing shortages as passengers continue to pay top-dollar for airfare. Travelers are pictured in a crowded security checkpoint queue at the Denver airport on Thursday
More than 39.2 million people were expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend, with over 3 million opting to fly, according to AAA.
While the flight disruptions are impacting holiday travelers across the globe, the vast majority cancellations and delays in the U.S., as of Sunday morning, appear to be out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta’s Sunday morning disruptions mirror that of Saturday, which saw a total of 50 cancelled flights, or five percent of all outgoing routes, and 179 delays, impacting 19 percent of the departing flights.
As of 9am Sunday, Atlanta had already cancelled 3 percent of departing routes, impacting 28 flights, and issued 18 delays.
Analysts allege the aviation industry is seeing an influx in demands and customers now that COVID restrictions have been lifted.
Coupled with the shortages of pilots and other crew, airlines cannot meet the travel demand, forcing many of the nation’s Big Four carriers – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines – to drop routes, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The three New York-area airports have been hardest hit by flight scrapping with around 15 percent of flights scrubbed.
More than 1,500 flights were cancelled worldwide on Saturday, which followed over 2,300 cancellations on Friday. Global passengers also saw more than 14,400 and 17,500 delayed flights on Saturday and Friday, respectively
As of 9am Sunday morning there were over 900 flight cancellations and nearly 5,000 delays worldwide
Delta Air Lines cancelled six percent of its mainline routes on Friday disrupting Memorial Day weekend travel. The airline has also scrubbed several of its summertime routes. On Saturday, the air carrier said: ‘Our schedule today reflects heavy impact from adverse weather and air traffic control actions.’ Passengers are pictured Thursday at a security checkpoint in Denver
Delta Air Lines cancelled six percent of its mainline routes on Friday disrupting Memorial Day weekend travel. The airline has also scrubbed several of its summertime routes.
‘In recent months, we’ve made a number of adjustments to minimize disruptions and bounce back faster when challenges occur. And that’s why we’ll be taking additional steps in the coming days and weeks to strategically decrease our flight schedule this summer,’ Delta said in a press release Thursday.
‘From July 1-Aug. 7, we’ll reduce service by approximately 100 daily departures, primarily in markets in the U.S. and Latin America that Delta frequently serves.’
The airline, on Saturday in a statement to Insider, added: ‘For this Memorial Day weekend, we are looking to enact cancelations at least 24 hours in advance of departure time wherever possible. Our schedule today reflects heavy impact from adverse weather and air traffic control actions yesterday.’
Delta did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Similarly, American and United are reducing flight capacity against their pre-pandemic levels.
Air carriers also revealed they are cutting back on training requirements to get more pilots in the skies amid ongoing staffing shortages which the air carriers claim have ‘exacerbated scheduling issues.’
39.2 million people are expected to travel this weekend with 3.01 million planning to fly. Ninety percent of people will travel by car
Analysts allege the aviation industry is seeing an influx in demands and customers now that COVID restrictions have been lifted. Coupled with the shortages of pilots and other crew, airlines cannot meet the travel demand, forcing the nation’s Big Four carriers to drop routes. Travelers are pictured Thursday at the United Airlines check-in counter in Denver
Customers impacted by the disruptions took to Twitter to express their frustrations.
‘Hey @Delta, first you inexplicably cancel my flight less than 24 hours from departure and now you have me on hold for an hour and 20 minutes…and counting. You’ve lost come cool points today!’ William Pierce wrote.
‘I love when @Delta makes me miss my flight because of non-weather related delay, has no in-person customer service rep available, and won’t engage on the phone or online,’ echoed Cameron Tanner.
‘@Delta canceled for the second time in a week and now trying to cancel my rebooked flight and no one can do it,’ Paul Marshall said. ‘This shouldn’t be this hard! Very poor customer service.’
‘I will never fly @United again,’ Adam stated. ‘Yesterday, they had us sit on a plane for 3 hours, then they canceled it because of “weather” but we were told another flight was leaving in 25 minutes so why not take off? Then next day flight is delayed for missing crew.’
‘Just spent 7 hours at my home airport but never left. @United canceled my flight they rebooked three times but late flight never came. Canceled legs four times, canceled return trip entirely and double charged. Most ridiculous thing I’ve been a part of in 35 countries,’ Kris Dreessen penned.
Customers impacted by the disruptions took to Twitter to express their frustrations
In addition to delays in the skies, motorists can also expect significant delays this weekend as more than 34 million people hit the roads, an increase of over one million compared to last Memorial Day.
AAA traffic data partner INRIX predicts ‘drivers in major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip’ this weekend.
The data service claims the worst of the delays should’ve taken place on Thursday and Friday afternoon, however roadway congestion is expected throughout the entire weekend.
Analysts allege the three worst cities to drive in over Memorial Day weekend are Atlanta, Boston and Chicago, respectively.
INRIX also advised that those who do choose travel this weekend should hit the road before 10am, noting that afternoon into early evening would see peak traffic jams and delays.
Passengers traveling by bus or train are also warned to anticipate longer queues at stations and route delays.
In addition to delays in the skies, motorists can also expect significant delays this weekend as more than 34 million people hit the roads. Travelers are pictured in NYC on Friday boarding a shuttle bus to JFK Airport
AAA traffic data partner INRIX predicts ‘drivers in major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip’ this weekend. Motorists are pictured driving along the congested Capital Beltway surrounding DC on Friday
Additionally, travelers and holiday celebrators alike should be prepared for the chance of severe weather, AccuWeather warned.
Much of the northwest U.S. is expecting showers, rain and thunderstorms throughout the holiday weekend, with parts of Wyoming and Montana preparing for the possibility of snow.
Floridians and those along the southern Atlantic coast, in Georgia and South Carolina, can also expect rainy weather to spoil their weekend fun.
The northeast saw most of its bad weather hit Friday night and early Saturday when storms a swath of thunderstorms – spanning from the Carolinas to eastern New York – brought powerful wind gusts, hail and at least one isolated tornado.
Despite the warm weather, beachgoers can expect chilly water temperatures, which are expected to be in the 50s in some areas.
This map shows how much of the northwest and southeast will experience rainfall on Memorial Day while the southwest and northeast are trending hot and dry
This map shows how much of the North East will enjoy balmy weather Sunday. The mercury could nudge 90F in and around Pittsburgh