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Air Travel Chaos Leaves Hundreds More Flights Canceled Nationwide As Travelers Take Aim At Buttigieg

During the holiday weekend, air travel in the US experienced heightened turmoil, with the New York metro airports bearing the brunt of the disruptions. Frustrated travelers took to social media to express their dissatisfaction and directed their ire toward Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“Sunrise at the Denver airport,” tweeted stranded traveler Bree Hocking on Sunday morning. “No chance for beauty sleep here. Not a single moment of rest. @United, you’ve provided an incredibly unpleasant start to the holiday weekend. It’s time to compensate and make arrangements for your passengers. @Secretary Pete.”

The extensive disruptions during the July Fourth holiday have been attributed to inclement weather, technological issues, and inadequate staffing.

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Buttigieg acknowledged that adverse weather conditions played a significant role.

“While there have been notable improvements in air travel overall,” he stated, “we faced significant challenges due to severe weather earlier in the week, which put immense strain on the system.”

“I believe that most passengers understand that weather conditions are beyond anyone’s control. However, we must remain committed to improving all aspects within the airlines’ jurisdiction and taking necessary actions on the FAA’s part to ensure a seamless travel experience for air passengers everywhere,” he remarked.

On Sunday, AirAware.com, the air traffic site, reported that an additional 550 flights throughout the country were grounded, with over 4,000 experiencing delays.

Airports in the New York area experienced a significant impact.

According to AirAware, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey suffered the highest number of flight cancellations on Sunday, with 91 flights, accounting for 15% of its total flights, being called off. Additionally, 95 flights were reported as delayed by early afternoon.

Following closely, LaGuardia Airport had 54 canceled flights and 92 delayed flights, which represented 11% and 20% of all flights, respectively. John F. Kennedy International Airport also faced disruptions, with 34 flights being grounded and an additional 84 experiencing delays, constituting 4% and 11% of all scheduled flights.

Alongside the recent severe weather conditions, staffing shortages among air traffic controllers and computer malfunctions within certain airlines have also been contributing to the chaos.

In an attempt to retain customer loyalty amidst the ongoing disruptions, United Airlines officials, visibly embarrassed by the system-wide delays encountered in recent weeks, have offered select passengers up to 30,000 air miles.

Buttigieg, who previously cautioned airlines about potential interference in aircraft communications due to the rollout of new 5G technology by major wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T, revealed that the FAA is actively working on increasing its workforce to mitigate travel delays.

However, for stranded airline travelers at airports across the country, these efforts come as too little and too late.

Reference: More details onĀ NY Post

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