Lighted tunnel at United Airlines Terminal, O’Hare International Airport, Chicago Illinois.
Andrew Woodley | Global Image Collection via Getty Images
US airline delays eased on Monday as the weather improved, bringing welcome news to travelers and airlines as the July 4th weekend ends.
As of midday Monday, 980 US flights were delayed and 177 canceled, down from about 4,700 delays and more than 300 cancellations the day before, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.
One in five US flights, more than 19,000, are delayed from Thursday to Sunday. FlightAware data showed that the vast majority of flights were completed and 1,600 flights were canceled, at 1.7%. The average flight delay is 46 minutes.
The weekend was significant for airlines as executives predicted an increase in passengers more than two years after the Covid-19 pandemic. Bomb the passengers more to get tickets that exceeded the 2019 levels.
A shortage of workers in the industry, as a result of takeovers that airlines have urged workers to take during the pandemic, has exacerbated routine challenges such as bad weather. American Airlines executives will begin detailing their summer performance and presenting updated forecasts for the year in quarterly reports beginning in the middle of the month.
Airlines have spent the past few weeks striving to avoid such issues. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and others have scaled back their schedules to give themselves more room to recover when things go wrong, such as when thunderstorms hit major airline hubs over the weekend.
For example, Delta has taken the unusual step of allowing travelers to change their flights outside the peak period from July 1 to 4 if they can travel over the course of July 8, without paying a difference in fare, in the hope that customers can avoid some disruption on its busiest days . CNBC reported last month that Envoy Air, a regional airline owned by American Airlines, offered pilots a triple pay for extra shifts in July.
Travel in Europe has become chaotic with passengers on some of the biggest hubs facing long queues and baggage delays as the industry faces staffing issues and increased demand.
Scandinavian airline SAS said on Monday it would have to cancel half of its flights after wage talks with pilots’ union representatives collapsed, triggering a strike. Meanwhile, the chief operating officer of low-cost airline EasyJet has resigned after recent waves of flight cancellations.