300 delays and counting at Charlotte airport during July 4 holiday travel crunch

Arthur H. Trickett-Wile/atrickett-wile@charlotteobserver.com
·2 min read

More than 300 flights were delayed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport by 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the middle of the July 4 holiday travel crunch, Flight Aware.com reported.

Delays include 172 flights originating at the airport, or 24% of scheduled departures, and 136 flights headed to Charlotte, according to the flight tracking site.

Thirty-three flights were canceled, Flight Aware reported.

Also Saturday, the union for American Airlines pilots told ABC News that at least 12,000 flights are without pilots Sunday through the rest of July after a computer glitch let thousands of pilots drop their scheduled flights.

Holiday travel will not be affected, the airlines told ABC News.

Asked by The Charlotte Observer Saturday night how many Charlotte flights could be canceled Sunday and in the days ahead, the airline responded with a statement that didn’t say.

The statement explained only what the airline believes caused the glitch:

“Our pilot trip trading system experienced a technical issue,” according to the statement. “As a result of this technical glitch, certain trip trading transactions were able to be processed when it shouldn’t have been permitted.

“We already have restored the vast majority of the affected trips and do not anticipate any operational impact because of this issue,” according to the statement, which the airline also released to ABC News earlier Saturday.

Busy holiday weekend

The holiday weekend is among the airport’s busiest.

Passenger numbers Friday were expected to top even pre-pandemic counts, TSA spokesman Mark Howell told reporters at the airport this week.

Howell advised fliers to expect long lines all weekend, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

And parking remained in high demand.

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, parking decks Daily Deck East, Express Deck and Long Term 2 still had spots available. Long Term 1, Daily North and Overflow Lots 2 and 3 were full.

Passengers can check out real-time parking availability through the airport’s online parking map.

How to prepare

CLT offers several other online tools for passengers heading to the airport, including a site for customers to reserve parking ahead of time for a discounted rate online.

Travelers can also check security wait times online.

This is a developing story.