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Canceled flights on the first summer weekend for travelers

The unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend offers an unsettling glimpse of what’s in store for travelers during the peak holiday season.

US airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights, or about 2% of their schedules, Thursday through Monday, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Delta Air Lines, which is usually among the top performers, had the worst record among major airlines, with more than 800 flights canceled in five days.

“This was a chance for airlines to show that last summer’s delays would not be repeated this summer, and yet it should not be,” said Helane Becker, an analyst at banking firm Cowen, which blamed bad weather for the disruption to the air Traffic control delays, airline crew members who have been called in sick and long security lines at some airports.

“We expect a busy summer and are concerned about the industry’s ability to cope with demand,” said Becker.

The good news was that cancellations dropped sharply on Tuesday. FlightAware reported only about 50 on the east coast as of late morning.

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Various forecasts about a high volume of travel at the weekend have proven to be correct. The Transportation Security Administration reported that more than 11 million people were checked at airport checkpoints from Thursday to Monday.

That was down 9% from the same days in 2019, but up almost 25% year over year. Crowds of just under 2.4 million on Thursday and Friday almost reached the pandemic peak reached on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

Delta didn’t immediately comment on its weekend woes on Tuesday. Last week, the Atlanta-based airline said it was being challenged by several factors, including rising COVID-19 cases among workers, and it was cutting its July and August flight schedules to improve reliability.

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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/05/31/canceled-flights-mar-first-weekend-of-summer-for-travelers/ Canceled flights on the first summer weekend for travelers

Sarah Y. Kim

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