The most popular day of air travel this year was a mess. This is not going to change any time soon

Americans got a new federal holiday last year: Juneteenth. This year the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, falls on Sunday but will be celebrated in many places on Monday, June 20, since this long summer weekend also coincides with Father’s Day, that means there will be There’s so much going on, the Friday before Juneteenth marked the most popular day of air travel in 2022, according to Transportation Security Administration statistics. Airports haven’t been this crowded since Thanksgiving in 2021. TSA officers said they checked about 2,438,784 people at airport security checkpoints across the country on Friday, the highest number of checkpoints since November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. . That was also about 100,000 more passengers than the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. “Welcome to the Juneteenth Weekend of Travel!” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter. While Juneteenth became a public holiday last year, this is the first year that the US stock market and banks will close in his honor. The surge in numbers couldn’t have come at a worse time for US airlines. A combination of severe weather, staff shortages and infrastructure challenges has left major carriers struggling to keep up with the increase in travel. Nearly 9,000 flights within the US were postponed on Friday and 1,500 more were canceled according to the FlightAware dataset, and there were more than 850 canceled flights on Saturday for all of FlightAware. By early Sunday morning, more than 600 flights had already been canceled for the day, and the increase in delays and cancellations comes just a day after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline chief executives to discuss ways to improve performance and operations ahead of another expected increase in travel. During the Fourth of July holiday, about 2,700 flights were canceled over the Memorial Day weekend. Major airlines are already proactively canceling more flights as the busy summer season heats up. Southwest Airlines cut nearly 20,000 flights between June and Labor Day and is struggling to hire 10,000 new workers it says it needs to meet demand. “I go through Whataburger by car and pay and get my bag, and stapling the bag is a job application,” Southwest CEO Robert Jordan joked to the Dallas Morning News last year about the difficulty of finding job applicants. Delta said it will cancel 100 daily flights in the United States and Latin America from July 1 to August 7. In an open letter to customers, Delta pilots wrote that a lack of labor put them on their way to fly. More overtime hours this year than 2018 and 2019 combined. “The shortage of pilots in the industry is real, and most airlines simply won’t be able to meet their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said during the company’s quarterly earnings call in April, Unions representing pilots in Delta, America and Southwest say airlines got into the current situation by refusing to replace retired pilots and took absence papers during the height of the pandemic when air travel declined and about 8,000 new commercial pilots gained certification last year, according to pilot unions. , and said there should be no shortage. They claim the current cut-off narrative is being used by companies to justify lowering training and safety requirements that will boost profit margins. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey wrote in a letter to Buttigieg earlier this month: “While some Flight cancellations are inevitable, the sheer number of delays and cancellations this past weekend raises questions about airline decision-making.”

Americans got a new federal holiday last year: Juneteenth. This year, the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, falls on Sunday, but will be celebrated in many places on Monday, June 20.

Given that this long summer weekend also coincides with Father’s Day, that means there will be plenty of travel.

The Friday before Juneteenth has been recorded as the most popular day of air travel in 2022, according to Transportation Security Administration statistics. Airports haven’t been this crowded since Thanksgiving in 2021.

TSA officers said they screened about 2,438,784 people at airport security checkpoints across the country on Friday, the most since November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This was also about 100,000 more passengers than on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

“Welcome to June Weekend Weekend!” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter.

While Juneteenth became a public holiday last year, this is the first year that the US stock exchange and banks are closed in her honor.

The surge in numbers couldn’t have come at a worse time for US airlines. A combination of severe weather, staff shortages and infrastructure challenges has left major carriers struggling to keep up with the increase in travel. Nearly 9,000 flights within the United States were postponed on Friday and another 1,500 were canceled according to the FlightAware data set.

More than 850 flights were canceled on Saturday for each FlightAware. By early Sunday morning, more than 600 flights had already been canceled for the day.

The increase in delays and cancellations comes just a day after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline chief executives to discuss ways to improve performance and operations ahead of another expected increase in travel during the Fourth of July holiday.

About 2,700 flights were canceled over the Memorial Day weekend. Major airlines are already proactively canceling more flights as the busy summer season heats up. Southwest Airlines cut nearly 20,000 flights between June and Labor Day and is struggling to hire 10,000 new workers it says it needs to meet demand.

“I go through Whataburger by car and pay and get my bag, and stapling the bag is a job application,” Southwest CEO Robert Jordan joked to the Dallas Morning News last year about the difficulty of finding job applicants. “That’s what we’ve come to.”

Delta said it will cancel 100 daily flights in the United States and Latin America from July 1 to August 7. In an open letter to customers, Delta pilots wrote that a labor shortage has put them on their way to fly more hours this year than everyone else. 2018 and 2019 combined.

Scott, United Airlines CEO Scott, United Airlines CEO, Kirby said during the airline’s quarterly earnings call in April.

Unions representing pilots in Delta, the United States and the Southwest say airlines have positioned themselves in the current situation by refusing to replace pilots who retired and took time off during the height of the pandemic when air travel declined.

About 8,000 new commercial pilots gained certification last year, according to the pilots’ unions, and they say there shouldn’t be a shortage. They claim that the current service cut narrative is used by companies to justify lowering training and safety requirements that will boost profit margins.

Some US senators note. “While some flight cancellations are inevitable, the sheer number of delays and cancellations this past weekend raises questions about airline decision-making,” Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey wrote in a letter to Buttigieg earlier this month.

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