CHARLOTT (QUEEN NEWS) – As people took to the skies over the holiday weekend, FlightAware data shows 4,100 flights were delayed Friday, including 295 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport alone.
It also stopped 26 flights to or from Queen City.
With that in mind, travel experts predict that this Fourth of July will be the busiest for travel in years.
AAA analysts expect 48 million Americans to travel over the holiday weekend. This is despite the fact that ticket prices have increased by about 20-30 percent compared to 2019.
Passengers said that even if they can afford a ticket, it does not guarantee that their plane will take off. Major airline executives said overworked crews and understaffed aircraft were behind most of the tens of thousands of recent schedule changes and delays.
Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said his department is working to help airlines and hold them accountable for disruptions. TSA officials tell QCN they have additional agents in Charlotte this weekend to keep security lines as short as possible.
“We also use K-9 to speed people up at the checkpoint and we also work overtime on weekends. Everything has been going very smoothly so far,” said TSA’s Mark Howell.
He said their goal is to reduce the average wait time to 30 minutes and to 10 minutes for pre-screening.
QCN asked why travelers receive different instructions depending on which airport they are going to. Remove shoes, laptops, liquids, etc. These sometimes seem to vary between different checkpoints at the same airport.
The regional spokesman said it depends on what type of electronic scanners each checkpoint has. And if their dogs can look through the bags before they get to the agent, that acts as a sort of pre-check, and usually means people can leave their electronics in the bag.
He said travelers making practical moves should listen to the instructions that agents would yell at the checkpoint.
AAA analysts also predict that 42 million people will hit the road this weekend despite high gas prices. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.84, down two cents from Thursday.
North Carolina drivers pay about $4.49 for every gallon of gasoline. The median in South Carolina is about $4.36.