Canceled flights lead to a bad day of US travel

Airlines canceled more than 1,400 flights to the US on Thursday, one of the worst days to travel due to the height of the summer holiday season.

More than a third of all flights have been wiped out at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, while more than a quarter of flights have been jettisoned at nearby Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, according to FlightAware tracking service. Most of the major airports on the East Coast were among the major problem areas.

The cancellations come less than three weeks after airlines kicked off the summer travel season, canceling about 2,800 flights in five days over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines on Thursday canceled more than 260 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines only canceled 62 flights, but delayed more than 1,000 flights.

Trouble arose Thursday when airline executives held a virtual meeting with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, indicative of the Biden administration’s concern about the prospect of confusing airports and unhappy travelers this summer.

“I made it clear to them that this is the moment we really count on them to deliver passengers reliably,” Buttigieg told NBC News.

During the meeting, which was held via videoconference, Buttigieg asked the CEOs to describe the steps they are taking to keep things running smoothly over the July 4 holiday and through the end of the summer, according to a person familiar with the call but not authorized to discuss it publicly. .

Buttigieg also pushed airlines to look into whether they can handle published schedules and improve customer service, the source said.

Airlines for America head of trade group Nicholas Calio said in a statement that industry representatives appreciated the opportunity to speak with Buttigieg and “discuss our shared commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of all travelers.”

Airlines are struggling with a shortage of workers, especially pilots, which is preventing them from operating all scheduled flights.

FlightAware’s map of airport trouble spots as of 7:00 pm ET Thursday.(Flight Aware)

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