RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)–The end of Memorial Day Weekend was turbulent for passengers of thousands of canceled and delayed flights.
According to FlightAware more than 400 flights in the U.S. were canceled Memorial Day, another 3,400 plus were delayed. Over the course of the weekend more than 6,000 flights were canceled worldwide.
Shana Tischler and her family were in Raleigh for Memorial Day Weekend visiting friends. Their flight home to Seattle was canceled, then the rebooked flight was delayed meaning a missed connection, Tischler was trying to rebook the whole trip.
“This is post-COVID, I think since my friend and I were talking, every single flight we’ve been on since we started to fly during COVID has been canceled or delayed,” Tischler said. “This is the norm now.”
Clint Henderson is the Managing Editor of News for the travel website The Points Guy. He said it seems like all the airlines have had bad weeks, but said Delta’s was particularly bad with 9% of its flights canceled Saturday and 4% canceled Monday. American Airlines and Spirit each had 3% of their flights canceled Monday, according to FlightAware.
“At The Points Guy, we’re really worried that this is gonna be a sign of things to come this summer,” Henderson said.
Henderson said there’s a combination of factors causing this, but the biggest issue is staffing shortages now that airlines are adding flights to keep up with demand.
“They added a ton of flights, unfortunately a lot of pilots retired during COVID, a lot of flight attendants retired, so the staffing levels have just not returned to what they need to be to build in backup into the system,” Henderson said.
Heading into Summer, Henderson said all the major airlines are scaling back flights to try and keep up. Tischler said delays and cancelations won’t keep her on the ground.
“We love traveling, this won’t stop anything, it’s just more of, it’s the hassle you have to deal with,” Tischler said.
Some tips from Henderson are always have back up plans, for example if you’re flying JetBlue see if American Airlines is flying that route as well incase JetBlue cancels. Airline are supposed to give you money for food and hotels if the cancelation is their fault, but Henderson said that does not apply if an airline said it’s due to weather issues.
As for RDU Airport, Henderson said FlightAware showed it was pretty clear when it came to cancelations and delays on Memorial Day compared to other airports.