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Are you flying on the weekend of July 4th this year? Prepare for "operational issues"

(CNN) — Weekend trips on the holidays of July 4th can be very active and confusing.

This weekend could be the biggest air travel weekend for the United States in years. Delta expects a number of customers "not seen before the pandemic" on July 4th.

Delta has issued a vacation period exemption that travelers can changetheir tickets are free, "operated this weekend weekend The above challenges are expected. "

Weather may be part of the problem.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, thunderstorms can occur in parts of the South, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, and Midwest on Friday.

Weather can cause delays in Florida, New York, Washington DC, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, the FAA said. ..

As of 1:45 pm On Friday, flight tracking site FlightAware canceled a little over 300 flights in the United States, resulting in a delay of about 2,700.

So far this year, US airlines have canceled 3.5% of their flights, an increase of 42% from 2019, according to Ministry of Transport data. I am.

Last weekend (June 24-26), the airline canceled 2,200 flights in the United States. According to FlightAware, the previous weekend was about 3,200.

Addressing the Challenge

Aviation industry representatives called the FAA on Thursday, 7 The weekend of the 4th of the month.

"US airlines are always striving to provide a seamless travel experience and make every effort to ensure a smooth trip, including trimming schedules. , Airlines for America (A4A), an industry group representing major US airlines, said in a post-call statement with FAA.

A4A said members are working to hire employees in many roles, from pilots to gate agents, to address staff shortages.

This week, off-duty Delta pilots picketed beyond schedules and payments at major hubs, but protests are not expected to affect the operation.

Airlines say some air traffic disruptions this summer are due to a shortage of air traffic controllers.

However, Secretary of Transportation Pete Butigeg said the ministry "relied on airlines to deliver to passengers and provide tickets for them to sell. I have. "

"Let's be clear. Most of the delays and cancellations aren't due to air traffic control staffing issues," Butigeg said on CNN's Pete. I told Muntian. "The conclusion here is that the airlines selling these tickets need to have crew and staff to back up their sales."

Preemptive Cancellation

Delta has preemptively trimmed about 100 flights a dayfrom the schedulethis summer , To "minimize confusion". United Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines have also adjusted their summer schedules to reduce delays and cancellations.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a note to customers this week that airlines are facing a "never faced" environment. He said he has taken some steps to provide. More flexibility for customers. Delta may even take headquarters employees to the airport to help in Atlanta and New York, Bastian said.

Travel happens as the number of travelers increases. The number of passengers screened at US airports culminated in a new pandemic era on Sunday, June 26th. In February 2020, before the surge in travel demand during the pandemic. The number of passengers on Thursday, June 30-2,444,471-was shy on record.

"Stuffing is an issue I think of for everyone," TSA administrator David Pekoske told CNN.

"But for us, it's not a problem that affects travelers' waiting times," he said.

More people travel by car

Many plane travelers are late As you may encounter, the percentage of travelers leaving this holiday weekend is actually lower than it has been for a long time.

According to AAA, 3.55 million people are expected to fly on Independence Day, only 7% of travelers. This is the lowest share since 2011 when the economy was still reconstructed from the Great Recession.

The number of air travelers (3.55 million) has increased by 1.5% since 2021 but has decreased by 9.3% since 2019 before the pandemic.

According to the July 4th weekend car and travel planning group's annual forecast, 42 million Americans will make more than 50 miles of road trips than ever before. is.

That's despite gasoline prices breaking records earlier this month.