DALLAS (AP) — Travelers flying home from July Fourth getaways faced flight delays Monday, but airlines were canceling fewer flights than in the days leading up to the holiday weekend.
Since holiday weekend travel picked up on Thursday, airlines have canceled more than 2,200 U.S. flights, and another 25,000 were delayed.
Airports were packed.
More than 9 million flyers flocked to U.S. airports between Thursday and Sunday, peaking at 2.49 million, a pandemic-era record, on Friday, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration.
By late Monday afternoon on the East Coast, more than 2,200 U.S. flights had been delayed and more than 200 canceled, according to FlightAware.
The good news: Those numbers were down sharply from recent days.
Flying during the peak vacation season has always been challenging. Big crowds and summer thunderstorms can quickly overwhelm an airline’s operations. That has been compounded this summer by shortages of pilots and other workers.
“It’s not just in North America, it’s everywhere,” said John Grant, an analyst for OAG, a travel-date provider based in the United Kingdom. “It’s a combination of available resources and demand picking up much more quickly than anyone anticipated.”
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