Americans wouldn’t let soaring gas prices and airport chaos keep them home on the Fourth of July.
Millions of travelers crowded airports over the weekend, andThousands of flights have been postponed or canceled.
The Transportation Security Administration estimates it screened more than 6 million people from Friday to Sunday — a number close to pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 2.5 million passengers were screened on Friday alone, making it the busiest day at US airports since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is in the midst of surging demand, staff shortages and rising gas prices, a combination that has led to. Nearly 17,000 flights were postponed and more than 1,400 canceled over the weekend, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
One such frustrated passenger is Alam Khan, whose flight from New Jersey to Toronto was canceled days before his wedding.
“We just got here, and now they tell us it’s canceled,” Khan said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been under pressure to tackle the chaos.
“This is something that affects all of us and it affects the economy when it happens because a lot of people can’t get to where they need to work, so a lot of people can’t get to their loved ones,” he told Sabah on CBS.
Buttigieg called on airlines to do a better job, noting that the industry received a $54 billion bailout at the height of the pandemic.
“We sent a lot of taxpayer money, specifically for the purpose of keeping people employed on these airlines,” he said. “And now, they need the people and have the resources to get people where they need to go.”
This year, more flights were delayed than any other year in the past decade. One of the biggest influencing factors is staff shortages, especially pilots. last Thursday onlyacross the country to demand higher wages and better working conditions.
Mayhem at airports may be why 42 million Americans are choosing to skip airports altogether this holiday and hit the road instead — despite.
This is what Khan finally did so that he could attend his wedding. He drove over nine hours to Toronto after his rebooked flight from Newark was cancelled.