Number of flights cancelled DOUBLES in a week amid warning chaos will last for years


Number of flights cancelled DOUBLES in a week to 700 amid warning chaos will last for years until airlines recruit and train more pilots and staff

  • Monday kicked off with nearly 700 flight cancellations and 600 delays
  • NYC, Atlanta and Boston were hardest hit by the travel disruptions
  • Industry experts allege the travel chaos was ‘a problem decades in the making’
  • Airlines, having originally cited pandemic-era staffing shortages, are now placing blame on the FAA, claiming its understaffing is ‘crippling’ traffic
  • Congressional leadership has also demanded answers from the airlines, noting that they received $50B in pandemic relief to keep the industry operational 
  • Travelers are warned to expect continued disruptions throughout the summer 

The number of cancelled flights double to nearly 700 Monday morning amid a stark warning from industry experts that travel chaos will last for years. 

Airlines reported nearly 600 delays by 8am, according to tracking service FlightAware, with airports in New York City, Atlanta, and Boston being hardest hit by disruptions.

Air carriers, which first cited pandemic-era staffing shortages and high travel demand as the reasons for repeated disruptions, have shifted the blame on widespread flight delays to the Federal Aviation Administration. They allege the agency’s understaffing is ‘crippling’ traffic along the East Coast.

‘Airlines need to keep hiring, keep offering competitive wages, and offer the best benefits they can. It’s a tight labor market overall,’ David Slotnick, Senior Airline Business Reporter for The Points Guy, told DailyMail.com. 

‘The pilot shortage won’t be solved in the next few years so the best thing they can do on that front is use the pilots they have as strategically as they can, scheduling flights properly and prioritizing routes as efficiently as possible.’

Meantime, congressional leaders are demanding the airlines provide answers as to why there continues to be disruptions, especially since the industry received $50 billion in relief during the pandemic in an effort to keep business afloat.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has made tackling air travel chaos a priority and even claimed his department could force the airlines to hire more staff.

The summer of air travel chaos kickstarts for a second week in a row with nearly 700 flights canceled across the United States Monday morning. Airlines also reported nearly 600 delays

The summer of air travel chaos kickstarts for a second week in a row with nearly 700 flights canceled across the United States Monday morning. Airlines also reported nearly 600 delays

‘This is a problem decades in the making, that I do not see abating until airlines stop blaming others and step up and manage their own flights, using their own business rules, as they could have for twenty years,’ Bob Mann, an aviation analyst and former airline executive based in Long Island, told DailyMail.com. 

‘Customers’ only self-help response is to be the best informed they have ever been about their alternatives, before they ever leave for the airport.’

Mann alleged that airlines have become ‘marketing companies’ and in doing so have sacrificed operational reliability and employee and customer satisfaction.

‘This is the saddest state of affairs I have seen in 45 years observing, in and around this industry, and will only get worse for airlines, employees, customers, investors, and the economy as demand and flight activity increase,’ he added.

He also argued the FAA did not react quickly enough while the air travel industry continued to grow.

‘The FAA is decades late to realize the need to optimize inflight trajectories and ground flows to enhance effective system capacity, reduce flying time, delays and cancellations, and improve system on-time performance, despite this rightly being an airline created problem, that only airlines can optimize,’ he explained.

Travelers have aired their frustrations over last-minute gate changes, flight cancellations and repeated, hours-long delays at the airports. 

However, the flight disruptions have caused a trickle-down effect across the entire travel industry making it harder to access rideshares, car rentals or public transport.

New Yorkers returning home from Miami, Florida Sunday night told DailyMail.com they waited over an hour for a taxi cab at LaGuardia Airport. Uber and Lyft orders were not being picked up.

Footage taken at the airport shows the taxi queue stretching the entire length of the baggage terminal.

The long wait for a cab also came after the travelers’ flight had been delayed 90 minutes due to a ground stop at flights arriving at LGA.

It is unclear why flights were halted into the airport. DailyMail.com has contact the airport and NYC’s Port Authority agency for comment.

Flight disruptions have caused a trickle-down effect across the entire travel industry. New Yorkers returning home from Miami, Florida Sunday night told DailyMail.com they waited over an hour for a taxi cab at LaGuardia Airport

Flight disruptions have caused a trickle-down effect across the entire travel industry. New Yorkers returning home from Miami, Florida Sunday night told DailyMail.com they waited over an hour for a taxi cab at LaGuardia Airport

NYC appears to be hardest-hit by Monday's airline disruptions, followed by Atlanta. Travelers are pictured at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on June 22

NYC appears to be hardest-hit by Monday’s airline disruptions, followed by Atlanta. Travelers are pictured at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on June 22

New Yorkers can expect more delays at the airports on Monday after Newark Liberty Airport, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airport have already reported disruptions.

Newark, LGA and JFK have cancelled 16, nine and four percent of routes, respectively. 

NYC appears to be hardest-hit by Monday’s airline disruptions, followed by Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta which had canceled four percent of routes, as of 8am.

Travelers in Boston should also prepare to spend extra time at Logan International Airport after 22 flights had already been canceled Monday morning and 14 delayed.

Monday’s disruptions follow a weekend of chaos that saw more than 2,000 cancellations and at least 13,000 delays between Friday and Sunday. 

TSA officers screened 2,462,097 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide on Sunday, June 26 — the highest daily number since February 11, 2020 (pre-Covid) when 2,507,588 people were screened, according to spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.

‘Airports are busy places, plan to arrive early,’ she warned in a tweet Monday.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings Inc and Republic Airlines Inc had over 100 cancellations each Monday, while American Airlines Group Inc canceled 51 flights nationwide. 

Air carriers, which first cited COVID-19 pandemic-era staffing shortages and high travel demand as the reasons for repeated disruptions, have shifted the blame on widespread flight delays to the Federal Aviation Administration

 Air carriers, which first cited COVID-19 pandemic-era staffing shortages and high travel demand as the reasons for repeated disruptions, have shifted the blame on widespread flight delays to the Federal Aviation Administration

TSA officers screened 2,462,097 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide on Sunday, June 26 ¿ the highest daily number since February 11, 2020

TSA officers screened 2,462,097 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide on Sunday, June 26 — the highest daily number since February 11, 2020

This comes as U.S. consumers lodged more than triple the number of complaints against U.S. airlines in April, compared with pre-pandemic levels, as on-time arrivals fell, according to a report by the Department of Transportation.

In April, major carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 76 percent, down from 77.2 percent in March and below the 79.8 percent rate in April 2019, the report said.

Airlines operated 566,893 flights in April, about 87 percent of the flights flown during the same month in 2019.

Since early spring, social media has flooded with complaints from stranded passengers who have missed vacations, important events and business related engagements due to airline disruptions.

Traveler Brian Walsingham took to Twitter Monday morning to call out American Airlines, one the nation’s largest air carriers, for delaying his Dallas, Texas flight by 14 hours.

Hugo Acha, also traveling out of Dallas, criticized American for have delayed or cancelled at least six routes he and his family had booked. He questioned: ‘What’s going on?’ 

Another passenger, Ken Domik noted how he was prepared for increased wait times at Los Angeles International Airport, due to rising travel demand, so he arrived three hours early for his flight to Toronto. He ended up waiting at LAX for seven hours because the flight was delayed four hours.

The grim stories foreshadow a potentially busy July 4 holiday, according to AAA, as over 47 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend, with 3.5 million of those travelers expected to travel by air.

Social media has flooded with complaints from stranded passengers who have missed vacations, important events and business related engagements due to airline disruptions

Social media has flooded with complaints from stranded passengers who have missed vacations, important events and business related engagements due to airline disruptions

Earlier this month, Buttigieg called a virtual meeting with the chief executives of major U.S. airlines to discuss thousands of recent flight cancellations and delays over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. He urged airlines to ensure they can reliably operate planned summer schedules. 

Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. carriers, said Friday it wants to know FAA’s staffing plans for the July Fourth holiday weekend, ‘so we can plan accordingly.’

The comments from the industry group could serve as a pre-emptive defense in case airlines again suffer thousands of canceled and delayed flights over the holiday weekend, when travel is expected to set new pandemic-era highs.

‘The industry is actively and nimbly doing everything possible to create a positive customer experience since it is in an airline’s inherent interest to keep customers happy, so they return for future business,’ Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group, said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Calio said airlines have dropped 15 percent of the flights they originally planned for June through August to make the remaining flights more reliable, they are hiring and training more pilots and customer-service agents, and giving passengers more flexibility to change travel plans.

Calio said air traffic is often disrupted ‘for many hours’ because bad weather causes the FAA to issue delays.

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