4th July air travel delays as hundreds of flights cancelled
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
US airports are experiencing travel chaos on the eve of Independence Day, with over 100 million Americans under extreme weather warnings. Flight delays and cancellations have affected more than 3,000 flights within, into, or out of the US, making it a challenging week for airlines.
United Airlines has been particularly impacted, with over 300 postponed flights and more than 5,000 delays and cancellations in the past week. The carrier blamed thunderstorms at its largest hub in Newark, New Jersey, for creating an “extended limited operating environment.” The situation has led to operational challenges and frustrations for both airlines and passengers in Independence Day also.
In response to the chaos, United Airlines is compensating heavily affected customers with 30,000 frequent flier miles. However, this offer did little to help one Atlanta family who experienced being stuck in three different airports for five days. United Airlines’ CEO, Scott Kirby, admitted the difficulties and issued an apology. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg attributed the chaotic travel situation to severe weather, which has placed immense pressure on the system. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to hire additional air traffic controllers to alleviate the strain.
As the Fourth of July long weekend approaches, concerns arose regarding potential flight disruptions due to the new 5G rollout around airports. However, the Department of Transportation stated that there have been no significant disruptions related to this issue. Thunderstorms with hail are forecasted across the eastern US, while a heatwave continues to affect the southern states. Power outages resulting from storms have left over 150,000 Midwest residents without electricity. The heatwave is expected to shift up the west coast, impacting California and Oregon.