Travelers will wait to board the plane at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida on April 22, 2022.
Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images
The airline and the Federal Aviation Administration are pointing to each other about the rate of increase in flight cancellations and delays. Just as millions are preparing to travel on the weekend of July 4, which authorities expect to be the busiest in three years.
On Friday, Airlines for America represents the country’s largest airlines, including: delta, American, United When SouthwestRequested a meeting with US Transport Secretary Pete Butigeg to discuss summer air traffic controller staffing and other potential obstacles such as space launches and military exercises.
“The industry is proactive and agile to keep customers happy and to return to future business,” said Nick Cario, CEO of Airlines for America, in a letter. We do everything we can to create a customer experience. “
Airlines have been tackling staff shortages after travel demand recovered faster than prepared, despite government support banning the dismissal of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the pandemic delayed the training of air traffic controllers.
Both factors made it difficult to navigate everyday problems such as spring and summer thunderstorms, as the Covid infection set employees aside and continued to irritate travelers.
According to a letter from Airlines for America, US airlines have reduced their June-August schedule by 15% compared to their original plans.
United Airlines announced Thursday that it will cut 50 daily flights from the Newark Liberty International Airport hub in New Jersey starting next month to alleviate congestion and delays. Delta, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines have also adjusted their schedules.
Despite federal assistance, the FAA counterattacked airlines to ask thousands of employees to buy out or take leave during a pandemic.
“People expect that when they buy a ticket, they arrive at a place where they need to go safely, efficiently, reliably and affordably,” the agency said in a letter from the industry. “Americans deserve their expectations after receiving a $ 54 billion pandemic bailout to save airlines from mass dismissals and bankruptcies.”
The FAA said it has increased staffing at major Florida air traffic control centers and added alternative routes to alleviate congestion.
Brett Snyder, founder of Cranky Flier’s travel website, said:
“The demand is so high that airlines are trying to get as many airlines as possible,” says Snyder. “People now think that fares are high. Imagine if airline flights are reduced.”