Wanderlust ran smack into a wall of frustration for thousands of would-be Memorial Day travelers with nearly 4,700 flights canceled during the first two-and-a-half days of the holiday weekend.
Update 12:30 p.m. EDT May 29: By 11:30 a.m. EDT Sunday, another 1,030 flights had been canceled, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. There were more than 2,300 cancellations on Friday and another 1,500 on Saturday.
More than 250 of Sunday’s cancellations involved aircraft scheduled to fly to or from U.S. cities, according to The Associated Press.
Delta Air Lines canceled the most flights among major U.S. airlines, with more than 250 flights scrubbed Saturday. More than 140 Delta flights were canceled by midday Sunday, according to FlightAware.
Saturday’s cancellations were due to bad weather and “air traffic control actions,” Atlanta-based Delta officials said in an email to the AP.
Original report: By 4 p.m. EDT Saturday, nearly 1,400 flights had been canceled nationwide, one day after inclement weather and a host of operational issues grounded more than 2,300 flights nationwide, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Among U.S. carriers, Delta Air Lines shouldered the brunt of cancelations, with 245 flights sidelined, or roughly 9% of the airline’s operations.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where Delta is headquartered and operates its largest hub, saw 5% of all flights canceled and 7% delayed, The Associated Press reported.
In an email to the AP, Delta officials attributed Saturday’s disruptions to a combination of bad weather and “air traffic control actions,” noting that the airline is trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours in advance throughout the holiday weekend.
The cancelations come two days after Delta announced on its website that it plans to reduce service by about 100 daily departures between July 1 and Aug. 7.
>> Related: Delta Air Lines announces plans to decrease flights this summer
“More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation — weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups — are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband in the post.
According to the AP, airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did in 2019, and that has at times contributed to widespread flight cancellations.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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