Air travelers will be glad to know that US air travel conditions will be better this weekend than they were during the Memorial Day holiday. The Transportation Security Administration reported that as of Friday, 2.45 million air travelers had been screened by TSA agents – the highest number of air passengers on a single day since February 2020. Despite staffing and weather issues, Friday’s figures were below the 2.73 million passengers carried on US flights during the same time period last year. However, the number of flight cancellations and delays were still higher than the previous four years.
The Department of Transportation has met with airline CEOs and instructed them to hire more customer service agents. While the Department of Transportation could take enforcement action against carriers for not providing adequate customer service, they are awaiting the results of the Fourth of July holiday to decide whether to do so. With the holidays approaching, it is imperative for airlines to reduce flight cancellations and delays. Fortunately, airlines have taken steps to improve their service levels.
This weekend, nearly 13 million Americans are expected to fly on U.S. airlines, which have had operational issues due to shortages of pilots and bad weather. Almost 6,000 flights have been canceled or delayed since Memorial Day, which is twice as many compared to the same time last year. Several factors, such as the rise of drones, have caused this situation, but the government is urging people to travel with caution.
The recent chaos at airports has delayed flights and increased the cost of gasoline. However, air travel conditions are improving, and AAA estimates that 47.9 million Americans will travel during the Fourth of July weekend, a 4 percent increase over last year. Meanwhile, the average airfare is predicted to be $281 a round trip this summer, up 14.3% over last year. With the rise in fuel prices, airline operators are hoping that the demand for air travel over the Fourth of July weekend – June 4 – will decrease.
While the Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest in the airline industry, many airlines are struggling to accommodate passengers. United Airlines recently launched 30 new routes and resumed some of its canceled flights. JetBlue, for example, has cut its schedules this summer by nearly 10% and will likely continue to do so throughout the summer. In the meantime, airlines are working to improve air travel conditions, so passengers can enjoy their vacations.
According to AAA, the number of passengers traveling during this peak time in the summer will increase by three to ten percent over last year. This is a record for a holiday weekend, as car travel will be even busier than usual. Even with high gas prices, the four-day holiday will be better than ever this year. So, what can travelers do to prepare themselves for the Fourth of July weekend?