More than 4,000 flights were delayed as of Saturday evening as Tropical Storm Colin moves in off the coast of South Carolina
by Lauryn Azu and Allison Slider, The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2022
Flight delays continued into the start of the long July Fourth weekend as more than 600 U.S. flights were canceled by Saturday evening and more than 4,000 were delayed, according to FlightAware.
Thunderstorms are affecting flights on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A tropical storm moving near the coast of South Carolina is affecting flights in the region, according to the Aviation Weather Center. The storm, Tropical Storm Colin, is expected to produce heavy rains along the Carolina coast, the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Northern Plains, according to the National Weather Service.
There were departure delays Saturday afternoon at the Orlando International Airport in Florida and Aspen/Pitkin County Airport in Colorado, according to the FAA. High winds are affecting flights out of Las Vegas. Low clouds are affecting flights on the West Coast, the FAA said.
The disruption at U.S. airport comes as more than 500 flights were canceled Friday. It was still the busiest travel day, by volume, since February 2020, with about 2.5 million people taking to the skies, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Airports and airlines cautioned fliers of potential delays in the run-up to the weekend. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas recommended that travelers arrive two-and-a-half hours early for domestic flights. Miami International Airport recommended an arrival time of at least three hours as parking garages began to fill up.
Jeff Herold’s flight to Huntsville, Ala., was canceled before he landed in Atlanta from his hometown of Phoenix Saturday.
“As soon as we arrived, my phone was getting all these emails and my Apple Watch was giving me text messages, saying that our flight was canceled, and then it was rebooked and then the rebooked was canceled,” said the middle-school teacher.
A Delta employee at the airport was able to get Mr. Herold and his girlfriend hotel vouchers for the night and rebooked them for a flight leaving tomorrow morning. However he expects to miss the beginning of a professional development program for educators if he gets to Huntsville that late.
The couple is considering renting a car and driving to Huntsville instead.
Delta Air Lines Inc DAL 1.90%▲. allowed passengers to rebook their tickets free of charge to avoid problems this weekend. Chief Executive Ed Bastian apologized to customers in a letter Thursday for what he described as an unacceptable level of disruption and uncertainty.
On Saturday, a Delta spokesman said that “weather and air-traffic-control delays, which impact available flight crew time,” were affecting flights.
Delays, cancellations, long lines and lost bags have become regular features of travel around the world, not just the U.S., as a short-staffed industry has confronted soaring summer demand. Major U.S. carriers canceled about 2.9% of domestic flights in June, according to Cirium, an aviation data provider, up from about 2% during June 2019.