Airlines have already canceled and delayed hundreds of flights Friday, which kicks off the long holiday weekend for those celebrating the Fourth of July.
More than 7,100 flights into, out of and across the United States were delayed and another 535 were canceled as of 11:00 p.m. ET Friday, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
This comes at a time when an influx of people are expected to hit the road. AAA projected that 47.9 million people will travel between Friday and Monday, and about 3.55 million of them are expected to fly.
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||12.75||-0.06||-0.47%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.||41.62||-0.68||-1.61%|
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||36.45||-0.55||-1.49%|
|LUV||SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.||27.19||+0.12||+0.44%|
|JBLU||JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP.||4.64||+0.04||+0.87%|
However, over the past week, thousands of flights have been disrupted even after carriers cut 15% of the flights they planned for over the peak summer months, June through August, to make the remaining flights more reliable, according to Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio.
They have also "accelerated robust hiring and training programs in all areas" and "increased pay for many positions," Calio said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Still, airlines delayed over 5,700 flights on Wednesday, followed by another 5,175 on Thursday, according to FlightAware. On Tuesday, there were over 4,500 delays and several hundred cancelations, according to the data.
With so much disruption, public officials are now calling for a change in the industry.
"The American people are sick of airlines ripping them off, canceling flights at the last minute and delaying flights for hours on end," Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted Wednesday.
Sanders even called on Buttigieg to "fine airlines $55,000 per passenger for every flight cancellation they know can’t be fully staffed." Sanders also argued that a fine of $15,000 should be imposed per passenger when a domestic flight is delayed more than two hours for non-weather-related reasons.
The disruptions started well before this week. Airlines already had widespread cancelations over the Memorial Day holiday weekend due to worker shortages and bad weather.
Kathleen Bangs told FOX Business that things did not get any easier over Father’s Day and the Juneteenth holiday weekend, either. The website saw a "streak of delays and even higher cancellations," according to Bangs. On Thursday and Friday of that weekend, cancellations reached 6% and 5%, respectively, she said.
Just last weekend, over 18,000 flights were delayed from Friday through Sunday, according to FlightAware data.