Already this year, due to bad weather and staff shortages, the rate of flight cancellations and delays in June was higher than before the pandemic. And airlines and federal authorities have been scrambling to relieve frustration ahead of busy holiday weekends.
This week, Delta Unusual step Allow travelers to change flights for free without paying the fare difference if they can fly outside the busy July 1-4 weekend and can travel at any time until July 8. JetBlue Airlines Offer to attend Bonus For flight attendants this spring to ensure a solid staffing. American Airlines Regional airline Emboy offers pilots Triple pay Pick up additional trips until July.
Travelers at LaGuardia Airport in New York on June 30, 2022.
Leslie Joseph | CNBC
Movement comes as the fare has Soaring The number of passengers is close to the level before the pandemic. Fare tracker Hopper estimates that about 2.6 million people leave US airports daily on weekends.
Travelers were mostly willing to pay higher fares after being detained for two years in a pandemic. This was a boon for carriers beyond compensating for soaring fuel costs. However, flight has proven to be a headache for many.
According to flight tracker FlightAware, nearly 176,000 flights arrived with a delay of at least 15 minutes between June 1st and June 29th. This represents more than 23% of scheduled flights. And over 20,000 (almost 3%) were cancelled.
This is up because 20% of flights were delayed and 2% were canceled during the same period in 2019.
By late Friday afternoon, 425 US flights were canceled and more than 4,500 were delayed. According to FlightAware aggregates, delays included over 600 American Airlines flights (18% of the airline’s mainline schedule for the day) and 450 Delta Air Lines (14% of the airline’s schedule).
Consumer complaints are piled up. In April, the latest data available, the transport sector received 3,105 from travelers on US airlines, an increase of about 300% from April 2021, almost double that of the same period last year.
Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration Sparring Who are you blaming? Airlines are causing confusion over bad weather, staff shortages, and staffing issues in government air traffic control.
As the demand for flights to Florida is increasing among vacationers, airlines are particularly dissatisfied with the congestion caused by the state’s major air traffic control centers, which oversee planes flying over large areas of the southeast. I have.
To avoid getting caught up in these delays, Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle told CNBC this week that the airline has changed the way crews are scheduled, limiting flights through the airspace to two per assignment. Flight delays tend to spread to the rest of the network, as crew members arrive late for the next flight.
As part of this, the FAA is calling for the following moves by airlines: Let go of tens of thousands of workers through buyouts, Despite receiving $ 54 billion in taxpayer salary assistance during the pandemic as part of a rescue package banning layoffs.
Space launches and military exercises are other obstacles.
Political pressure on airlines is increasing.Secretary of Transportation Pete Butigeg Repeatedly urging airlines To make sure they are ready for the summer travel season and reduce the confusion after a series of recent cancellations and delays, including those that affected the flight the secretary plans to take. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) Also said this week that if the airline cancels a known flight, it should be fined $ 55,000 per passenger. Staff cannot.
On Thursday, FAA deputy manager Billy Noren and other top agency officials will call airline executives to staff facilities, transportation, and route planning, according to people familiar with the meeting. Discussed weekend plans, including the use of overtime. This phone was added to a regular planning meeting with the airline.