June 21, 2022: -Thousands of flights were canceled and delayed during the Juneteenth and Father’s Day holiday weekend, including the busiest air travel day of the year, according to the TSA.
According to the agency, more than 2.4 million people traveled through TSA checkpoints on Friday. The same day, airlines had canceled more than 1,100 flights by afternoon, following over 1,700 cancellations on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
According to FlightAware’s flight tracking platform, over 6,300 flights were delayed within, into, or leaving the U.S., and 859 flights were canceled.
As of Sunday morning, over 1,000 flights within, into, or leaving the U.S. had been delayed, and through 700 flights had been canceled, according to FlightAware. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport had the recent delays and cancellations on Sunday.
A few 2,700 flights were canceled over Memorial Day weekend.
Faced staffing shortages and a pilot shortage, many airlines have canceled thousands of flights for the summer season, which include Southwest Airlines, which cut 20,000 summer flights, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.
Delta is canceling 100 everyday departures from destinations in the U.S. and Latin America, affecting travel from July 1 to August 7. On Thursday, the airline company published an open letter to customers, acknowledging the labor shortage and customers’ frustrations with canceled and delayed flights.
The weekend’s Juneteenth travel disruptions followed a meeting that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had with airline CEOs late Thursday to discuss improving their operations.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, Buttigieg said his flight from Washington to New York had been canceled on Friday, leading him to drive instead. He pushed airline leaders to ensure they could fulfill their planned summer flights with the staff they have.
Buttigieg, known that the Department of Transportation could take enforcement actions, is against airlines but awared that he wanted to wait to see how airlines travel during the July 4 weekend. The rest of the summer season unfolded first.