Thousands more flights canceled across the U.S. as summer travel season heats up


Airlines in the U.S. canceled numerous flights for a second straight day on Friday as they try to recover from severe storms while accommodating growing crowds of summer vacationers.

By midmorning in the eastern U.S., airlines had scrubbed more than 1,000 flights after canceling more than 1,700 on Thursday, according to tracking service FlightAware. Airports with the most cancellations were those in Charlotte, North Carolina, a major hub for American Airlines; LaGuardia and Newark Liberty in the New York City area; and Reagan Washington National outside Washington, D.C.

As of 2 p.m. Eastern time, American Airlines had canceled 261 flights, or 8% of its operations — the most of any major U.S. carrier, according to FlightAware. Delta scrubbed 203 flights, while United Airlines scrapped 92 trips.

On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg held a virtual meeting with airline CEOs to review measures carriers are taking to ensure smooth air travel over the July 4 holiday and the rest of the summer. Also on the agenda was discussing ways to better accommodate passengers who get stranded when flights are canceled.

TravelWatch: Thousands have their travel plans upended over Memorial Day weekend

More than 2,500 flights across the U.S. were canceled over the Memorial Day weekend as airlines struggled with bad weather and shortages of pilots and other workers.

“The real problem wasn’t just the flights that were canceled,” CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said. “The real problem was connecting flights. Because if the first flight was delayed, that’s where people had real problems. They missed their connecting flights. There were no other options. They were stranded.”

So far in June, more than 2.2 million travelers a day on average have passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports. That’s down 13% from the same period before the pandemic.

Many experts now advise travelers to buy trip insurance or check to see if they are covered under their credit cards. They also note that under federal law, consumers are entitled to full refunds of ticket costs if a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed. 

Domestic airline ticket prices have jumped 47% since January alone, according to data from Adobe. Airfares are also up 30% compared to May 2019, before the pandemic. 


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