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Air Travel Hits Another Pandemic High, Flight Delays Grow – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-08-03 00:28:56 –

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Dallas (AP) — Air travel in the United States sets new highs in the pandemic era, and airlines are struggling to catch up with the crowds of summer vacation.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, the United States has set another recent high on Sunday’s air travel, despite an increase in the number of coronavirus infections caused by delta mutations, with more than 2.2 million people. I passed the checkpoint at the airport.

This is about 11,000 more screenings than July 18, the highest number since February 28, 2020, before the United States took the full brunt of the pandemic. However, air travel decreased by 17% from the same Sunday to Sunday in 2019.

The revival of leisure travel, coupled with bad weather, has led to airline delays and flight cancellations that are struggling to get up after being crushed by a pandemic. Airline workers are thousands less than they were before the pandemic, and despite receiving $ 54 billion in taxpayer money to maintain employee salaries, they can run short.

By noon on Monday, Spirit Airlines canceled about 290 flights, more than one-third of its schedule, due to weather and “operational challenges.” It was after canceling one-fifth of Sunday’s flight. The Florida-based discount carrier “was working 24 hours a day to get back on track,” spokesman Field Sutton said.

The turmoil has created long lines at airport ticket counters in Orlando, Florida and Fort Lauderdale. Some stranded passengers speculated that the service failure was due to a strike or slowdown in work. The airline and the union said the rumor was wrong.

American Airlines canceled 500 flights by late afternoon, 16% of Monday’s schedule.

Other planes are almost full this summer, and airlines are having a hard time rebooking passengers on canceled flights.

David Snell, who runs an air tour business in Dallas, got stuck in Detroit after American Airlines canceled his return flight on Monday night and emailed a list of available flights. When Snell examined Tuesday’s flight, he said prices started at around $ 1,200 or 30,000 Freak Freak Flyer Points.

“They are absolutely gouging people who are going home after cancellation,” Snell said. He called the American three times and said he had put it on hold for four hours before buying a $ 308 one-way ticket southwest. “Everyone was left to protect themselves.”

American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Arles said she was vacant on a flight from Detroit to Dallas via Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon.

According to tracking service FlightAware, Monday’s cancellations took place the day after 7,400 US flights arrived at least 15 minutes behind Sunday’s schedule, with more than 900 canceled. Almost half of Sunday’s cancellations took place at Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport, America’s largest hub, which was hit by thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

FlightAware figures show that there have been at least 5,000 delayed flights on most days since early July. Southwest, American Airlines, Spirit is one of the biggest problem airlines. Combined Sunday and Monday, Southwest Airlines was behind more than 2,500 flights and American Airlines was behind more than 1,600 flights.

Leading senators have quizzed several airlines to explain the delays and cancellations of numerous flights. Senator Maria Cantwell, chairman of the Senate Trade Commission, said the airline may have failed to serve its taxpayer funding objectives due to the inadequate task of managing the workforce. Said there is.

Travel recovery faces new public health threats as the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to grow. The 7-day moving average of new infectious diseases in the United States is about 80,000 per day, an increase of about 150% from two weeks ago, but the increase in deaths is much smaller.

Airline officials say they haven’t seen bookings suffer due to a variant of Delta, but could delay the return of business trips that airlines wanted to speed up this fall. Some people say that.

By AP reporter David Koenig

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