Last year, Americans got a new federal holiday: June 19th. This year, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States falls on a Sunday, but in many places it will be celebrated on Monday, June 20th.
Considering that this long summer weekend also coincides with Father’s Day, that means there will be a lot of travel.
The Friday before June 16th was the busiest air travel day in 2022, according to statistics from the Transportation Security Administration. Airports haven’t been this crowded since Thanksgiving 2021.
TSA officers said Friday they screened about 2,438,784 people at airport security checkpoints across the country, the highest number since Nov. 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was also about 100,000 more travelers than on the Friday before Memorial Day.
“Welcome to the June travel holiday weekend!” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted.
While June 10 became a public holiday last year, this is the first year that the US stock market and banks close in his honour.
The surge in numbers couldn’t have come at a worse time for US airlines. Due to bad weather, lack of staff and infrastructure problems, major carriers are struggling to cope with the increase in the number of flights. About 9,000 flights were delayed in the US on Friday, with another 1,500 flights canceled, according to the FlightAware group.
The increase in delays and cancellations comes just a day after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline executives to discuss ways to improve productivity and operations ahead of another expected spike in travel over the July 4 holiday.
Around 2,700 flights were canceled over Memorial Day weekend. Major airlines are already preemptively canceling more flights, just in time for the busy summer season. Southwest Airlines cut nearly 20,000 flights between June and Labor Day and is struggling to hire the 10,000 new workers it says it needs to meet demand.
“I go through Whataburger, pay and get my bag, and the job application is attached to the bag,” Southwest CEO Robert Jordan joked in an interview with the Dallas Morning News last year about the difficulty finding job candidates. “That’s what it’s come to.”
Delta said it will cancel 100 daily flights to the US and Latin America from July 1 to August 7. In an open letter to customers, Delta pilots wrote that labor shortages have caused them to log more overtime this year than ever. for 2018 and 2019 combined.
“Pilot shortages in the industry are real and most airlines simply won’t be able to deliver on their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots for at least the next five plus years,” United Airlines CEO Scott said. Kirby said during the airline’s quarterly earnings report in April.
Unions representing Delta, American and Southwest pilots say airlines are in…