Air travelers should expect cancellations over Memorial Day weekend

NEW YORK – Air travelers are not only faced sticker shock this Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer travel season. They also have to contend with an accumulation of flight cancellations.

More than 1,200 flights were canceled as of 2 p.m. EST Saturday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. More than 2,300 cancellations followed on Friday.

Delta Air Lines suffered the most among US carriers as more than 240 flights, or 9% of its operations, were canceled on Saturday. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where Delta is based and has its largest hub, was severely impacted by the travel delays. On Saturday, 5% of flights there were canceled while 7% were delayed.

Delta noted in an email to The Associated Press that Saturday’s cancellations were due to inclement weather and “air traffic control actions,” noting that it attempts to schedule flights this Memorial Day weekend at least 24 hours in advance to cancel.


Delta announced on its website Thursday that it would reduce service by about 100 daily departures from July 1 through August 7, mostly in parts of the U.S. and Latin America that Delta frequently serves.

“More than at any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operations – weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to more than planned unplanned absences in some workgroups – are leading to an operation , which does not consistently meet the standards that Delta has set for the industry over the past few years,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s chief customer experience officer, in a post.

Airlines and tourist destinations expect huge crowds this summer as travel restrictions ease and fatigue from the pandemic overcomes lingering fears of catching COVID-19 while traveling.

Many forecasters believe that the number of travelers will match or even exceed the levels of the good old days before the pandemic. However, airlines have thousands fewer employees than in 2019, which has contributed to widespread flight cancellations at times.


People who are only now booking trips for the summer are experiencing the sticker shock.

According to travel data company Hopper, domestic carrier fares for the summer are averaging more than $400 round-trip, 24% higher than at this point in 2019 before the pandemic and a robust 45% higher than one Year.


David Koenig, writer at AP Airlines in Dallas, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Air travelers should expect cancellations over Memorial Day weekend

Sarah Y. Kim

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