According to recent reports, Americans traveling for the long July 4 weekend are being advised to be patient as delays and flight cancellations continue to plague the airline industry. On Thursday, over 8,000 flights were delayed across the US, with Denver and Chicago being hit the hardest. Although there was a slight improvement in canceled flights, with 766 scrapped across the US, this was still less than half the average of 1,885 over the previous three days. Transportation Security Administration head David Pekoske advised flyers to “pack some patience” as the TSA is expecting record travel volumes. United Airlines continued to have the most canceled and delayed flights, with about 17% of its scheduled flights canceled and about 46% delayed. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made a dig at United Airlines, whose CEO had earlier blamed him for much of its woes. However, United did not respond to CNN about its interview with Buttigieg.
NEW YORK POST: ‘Pack some patience’: Passengers warned of ongoing flight chaos ahead of record July 4th travel
By Lee Brown; June 30, 2023
July Fourth revelers still may get grounded.
Americans joining the record rush heading away for a long July 4th weekend are being told to “pack some patience” to deal with an ongoing nightmare of delays and scrapped flights.
Problems that have plagued the airline industry all week continued on Thursday, long predicted to be the busiest day for people to get away early ahead of the weekend.
More than 8,000 flights were delayed across the US on Thursday, according to FlightAware data, with Denver and Chicago for once getting hit harder than New York, which bore the brunt the rest of the week.
There was a slight improvement in canceled flights, however, with 766 scrapped across the US, less than half the average of 1,885 over the previous three days.
By 4 p.m. Friday, more than 4,000 US flights were marked as delayed, with around 1,200 canceled.
So far this year, the cancelation rate has been 1.5% — meaning around 430 flights are canceled per day on average. On Tuesday this week, there were more than five times that many, with 2,205, according to data provided to The Post by FlightAware.
The delay rate this year has been 22% — with an average delay of 52 minutes — whereas last week that soared to 35% or US flights, with an average a much longer 80 minutes.
Transportation Security Administration head David Pekoske bluntly told flyers to “pack some patience.”
“We’re expecting record travel volumes,” Pekoske confirmed, with AAA predicting another 51 million Americans will hit the roads or skies from Friday through Monday.
United Airlines continues to be most to blame for the problems on Thursday, with about 17% of its scheduled flights canceled and about 46% delayed. CNN estimated that 400,000 United passengers have been booked on canceled flights since Saturday.
That was not lost on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who made a savage dig at the airline whose CEO had earlier blamed him for much of its woes.
“With the exception of United, airlines have recovered to a more typical cancellation/delay rate as of this morning,” Buttigieg tweeted Thursday, again blaming most of the problems on “the severe weather earlier this week.”
“Look, United Airlines has some internal issues they need to work through. They’ve really been struggling this week,” Buttigieg told CNN.
He addressed United CEO Scott Kirby’s claim that the Federal Aviation Administration had “failed” his company with a shortage of federal air traffic controllers.
“I want to be very clear, air traffic control issues are not the number one issue causing cancellations and delays. They’re not even the number two,” the top transport official said while conceding that more staff are needed.
The United branch of the Air Line Pilots Association shared a video of huge lines, telling fed-up passengers: “We share your frustration.”
“This last week has been one of the worst operational weeks in United’s history,” the union wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
“This is management’s job and they need to own this,” the union said, sarcastically blaming “United management’s ability to, you know, manage” for “this operational meltdown.”
United did not respond to CNN about its interview with Buttigieg. The airline did, however, respond to a seemingly endless flurry of complaints on Twitter from delayed or stranded passengers.
“It’s all-hands-on-deck as our pilots get aircraft moving, contact center teams work overtime to take care of our customers, and our airport customer service staff works tirelessly to deliver bags and board flights,” United said in a statement.
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