This Fourth of July, Americans did not stay at home due to high gas prices or airport chaos.
Over the holiday weekend, millions of passengers packed airports, where many encountered mayhem as tens of thousands of flights were either delayed or cancelled.
The number of persons that were screened, according to the Transportation Security Administration, was over 6 million from Friday through Sunday, which is comparable to pre-pandemic levels. The number of people screened on Friday alone was close to 2.5 million, making it the busiest day at American airports since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This is happening in the midst of rising demand, a labour shortage, and high gas prices—a confluence that caused problems for millions of passengers. Over the course of the weekend, more than 1,400 flights were cancelled and close to 17,000 were delayed, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.
Alam Khan, whose journey from New Jersey to Toronto was cancelled days before his wedding, is one of those irate travellers.
Khan stated, “We just got here, they let us know right now that it got canceled.”
Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, has been under pressure to calm the commotion.
Buttigieg is urging airlines to improve, recalling that at the height of the pandemic, the sector got a $54 billion bailout.
“We sent a lot of taxpayer funding, specifically for the purpose of keeping people employed at these airlines,” he said. “And now, they need to have the people and they need to have the resources to get people where they need to go.”
Compared to previous years in the last ten years, this year has seen the most flight delays. One of the main issues at work is a lack of people, particularly pilots. Just past Thursday, Delta pilots staged demonstrations around the nation to call for better wages and working conditions.
Despite nearly record-high gas costs, 42 million Americans may have chosen to drive instead of fly this holiday season due to the chaos at airports.
Khan eventually took that action in order to make it to his wedding. Following the cancellation of his rescheduled trip from Newark, he spent more than nine hours driving to Toronto.
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