Thursday marked another day of heavy delays and cancellations for the airline industry, according to data from the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
As of 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, more than 2,000 flights in, out of and across the U.S. have been delayed, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight delay and cancellation statistics in real-time. Another 600-plus flights were canceled.
Disruptions started last Thursday and trickled into the weekend due to thunderstorms hitting the East Coast. The weather forced passenger carriers – already understaffed – to delay thousands of flights and cancel hundreds of others.
Friday, in particular, marked a record day for high delays over the past month with 8,430 delayed U.S flights. Friday also marked the third-highest day for cancelations since Memorial Day weekend with 1,613 flights scrapped.
However, the issues didn't let up into the week, with nearly 7,000 flight delays on Monday followed by another 6,335 on Tuesday and 7,394 delayed flights on Wednesday. There was also a slew of cancellations each day.
Even though delays and cancellations have been high over the past week – in part because of thunderstorm activity and weather ground stops – there have been widespread cancellations and delays throughout the summer as demand ramped up faster than expected. Even with reduced schedules, airlines couldn't staff up fast enough.
Still, the worst days of 2022 are still in the first three months of the year, according to FlightAware spokesperson Kathleen Bangs.
In January, airlines hit a 40% delay rate, and in February cancellations spiked to over 5,000 flights, according to Bangs.
Bangs projects that travel delays should even out after the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend as kids return to school, leisure travel drops and demand falls.
"It’s also an excellent time to be looking at fares, which are coming down in price," Bangs said. "Barring any hurricanes, September, and especially October, tend to be good weather months with reduced thunderstorm activity in northern states."