This is yet another chaotic weekend off for Americans who travel by plane. More than 1,000 flights were canceled on Saturday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, after 2,300 cancellations on Friday (27).
Delta Air Lines is the airline most affected by cancellations, with more than 230 flights, or 8% of its operations, suspended on Saturday. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where Delta is headquartered and has its largest hub, is being heavily affected by the travel issues.
The airline blamed Saturday’s cancellations on bad weather and Friday’s “air traffic control actions”, saying it is trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours in advance.
On Saturday, United Airlines canceled 23 flights and JetBlue canceled 10, about 1% of the companies’ operations.
On Thursday, Delta announced it was cutting back its summer flight schedule ahead of Memorial Day weekend. From July 1 to August 7, the airline said, it would cut about 100 daily flights, mostly in the US and Latin America.
“More than at any other time in our history, the various factors that currently affect our operation – weather and air traffic control, staffing of suppliers, rising Covid case rates that contribute to unscheduled absences above planned in some working groups – are resulting in an operation that is not consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said director of customer experience, Allison Ausband, in an online post.
Airlines are also preventively canceling almost 200 flights scheduled for Monday (30). Delta has cut 75 so far.
Delta said in its post that it will issue travel waivers for those affected by severe weather in the Southeast and Northeast United States this weekend. Affected airports, which include the New York and Washington, D.C. areas, are listed on the company’s website.
Delta said it expected about 2.5 million customers over the holiday weekend — up a quarter from last year. AAA, which analyzes airline data, estimated that 3 million Americans are expected to fly by plane over Memorial Day weekend.
Separately, JetBlue said it would cut 8% to 10% from its summer schedule. Alaska Airlines is reducing its schedule by about 2% through June to match “pilot capacity”.
*With information from Marnie Hunter of CNN.
Source: CNN Brasil