More than 3,700 domestic flights were delayed and 600-plus were canceled as the Fourth of July weekend got underway, continuing a troubling trend of jammed-up airport service.
As of Saturday evening, there were 3,765 delays on US flights – including in and out of the country — and 612 cancellations, according to the airline tracking service FlightAware.com. That’s nearly triple the daily average of 210 scrapped flights.
At LaGuardia Airport, 39 – or 11% — of flights scheduled out of the Queens hub were canceled, and 64 – or 18% — were delayed. The metropolitan area’s two other main airports, JFK in Queens and Newark Liberty International, also experienced similar issues.
The lack of service rivaled a day earlier, when more than 4,900 flight delays and nearly 500 cancellations were reported domestically as of Friday evening.
At least 48 million people are expected to hit the road over the holiday weekend, including 3.5 million who plan to fly, as airlines struggled to keep up with the soaring post-pandemic summer travel boom.
The number of available pilots and flight attendants along with sky-high fuel costs — which hit a national average of $4.82 a gallon Friday — are expected to cause disruptions, according to experts.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg got ripped on Twitter Saturday after posting tips on how best to decide whether to get cash refunds or compensatory points towards future trips when flights get canceled.
“It’s almost as if you aren’t the head of the agency that could actually do something,” quipped @skipwiley11.