Why are airlines experiencing travel delays and cancellations?

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Travelers experienced another holiday weekend filled with delays and cancellations. The airlines aren’t keeping up with travel demand.

There were no major issues at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport Monday. Flights arrived and departed on time. But at major airports around the country, airlines are scrambling to get back on track after a weekend packed with disruptions.

Many travelers were stranded after airlines canceled more than 3,200 flights between Friday and Sunday. Airlines are blaming staff shortages, bad weather and infrastructure challenges.

“Everybody and their mother is travelling right now and at the same time that’s happening there are these massive staffing shortages across almost every facet of the airline experience,” Lousson Smith with Scott’s Cheap Flights said.

Smith recently spoke with our sister station in New Orleans and said airline prices are up across the board this summer and there’s record breaking month over month increases in average fares. If you are looking to travel this summer, Smith suggests aiming for late July to late August to find deals.

“Right before the kids go back to school because you’re still giving yourself enough time to maybe snag one last cheap ticket. Number two I would say if you have the flexibility kick that trip down the fall,” Smith said.

Industry analysts say the pilot shortage and other staffing issues are big contributing factors to delays and cancellations. Experts say we could expect to see ongoing pilot and staff shortages causing big backups as we get closer to the Fourth of July.


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