Flight Cancellations, Delays Linger Tuesday in Aftermath of Busy Holiday Weekend

·2 min read
Travelers at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Friday, July 1, 2022.
Travelers at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Angus Mordant/Getty Images

Hundreds of flights were delayed and canceled on Tuesday as the airline industry worked to get back on track following a holiday weekend of record travelers and mass disruption.

More than 1,000 flights were delayed and more than 100 canceled into or within the United States on Tuesday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. That comes a day after more than 250 flights were canceled and more than 3,800 were delayed as millions traveled through American airports for the July 4 holiday weekend.

In total, airlines canceled more than 2,200 flights in the U.S. and delayed another 25,000 since Thursday, The Associated Press reported. That was blamed on a combination of bad weather on the East Coast, continued staffing shortages, and a glitch that caused American Airlines to accidentally drop pilot assignments for thousands of flights in July.

A spokesman for the airline told the wire service on Monday the problem had been fixed and the issue had no effect on July 4 travel.

Overall, cancellations are up 59% over the last two weeks compared to the same period in 2019, the AP reported. Airlines have preemptively canceled summer flight schedules to avoid more cancellations.

Compounding the problems was the record number of people who took to the skies over the holiday weekend. More than 11.2 million travelers passed through U.S. airports from Thursday, June 30, through Monday, July 4, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. That included 2,490,490 people on Friday, the highest number of passengers screened since Feb. 11, 2020, when the TSA saw more than 2.5 million travelers, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.

"We are back to pre-pandemic checkpoint volume," Farbstein tweeted.

The July 4 holiday travel numbers come as gas prices in the U.S. continue to hover at $4.80 per gallon on average nationwide and top more than $6 per gallon in California, according to AAA.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.