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Airline delays and cancellations pile up: Summer travel looking messy

The airline is crying uncle. We are reducing our flights and reducing our commitment to regional airports to overcome staff shortages and meet the surge in demand.

Important reason: Americans are eager to travel again, and regional airports make it easier to reach some of the country’s distant hotspots.

News promotion: American Airlines said Wednesday that it plans to end service to Islip, New York. Ithaca, NY; Toledo, Ohio; Dubuque, Iowa.

  • United Airlines is also reducing 50 daily flights from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. This is a major hub for travelers in the New York City area.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that 30 airports had lost “at least half of their 2019 departures.”
  • JetBlue and Spirit Airlines have previously announced a shortened summer schedule.

What they are saying: Scott Keys, the founder of Scott’s cheap flights, told Axios:

With numbers: According to flight data tracker OAG, airlines canceled flights 793,018 in North America in the first 23 weeks of this year, up 21% from the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.

  • According to FlightAware, there was a delay of 5,883 on flights inside and outside the United States on Wednesday alone.
  • Secretary of Transportation Pete Butigeg warned last week that his department could take enforcement action against airlines that do not comply with consumer protection standards.

Play status: Airlines say they are nervous to keep up with some because they don’t have enough staff to handle the surge in leisure travelers.

  • “I really want to emphasize how dramatic a step is to reduce flights from the summer schedule,” Keys said. “It’s similar to Wal-Mart saying it won’t open on Black Friday. Seeing the schedule adjust in the months of this summer makes it clear how difficult they are. understand.”

Yes, but: According to the Ministry of Transport, the aviation industry had 751,165 employees in April, up from the November 2020 pandemic low of 673,663.

  • This is the second highest monthly total in the last 21 years, following 753,382 in February 2020.

Remember: The TSA is also nervous to keep up with the rise in tourists as it addresses the types of labor shortages that other employers are working on.

  • “It’s just a train wreck in progress,” says Keys.

Conclusion: Get ready for the turmoil of your trip this summer.

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