As summer travel heats up, so do flight delays and cancellations

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Air travelers from Las Vegas and much of the country faced a third day of flight delays and cancellations on Saturday ahead of Juneteeth and Father’s Day.

Across the country, airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights on Friday as they tried to recover from storms that rocked the center and east of the country. More than 1,700 flights were canceled on Thursday.

On Saturday, flightaware.com said more than 15,300 flights nationwide were delayed and nearly 4,800 others had been canceled as of 4:30 p.m.

Harry Reid International Airport listed 13 canceled flights and more than 150 delays on Saturday afternoon.

Travelers are advised to check with their airline for pending flights and delays.

Airlines meet federal government

On Thursday, Buttigieg held a virtual meeting with airline CEOs to review the steps airlines are taking to operate smoothly during the July 4 holiday and the rest of the summer, and to improve accommodations for passengers stranded when flights are cancelled.

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend that usually kicks off the summer travel season, airlines battled bad weather and shortages of workers, especially pilots, leading to widespread cancellations.

Delta Air Lines, which has canceled the most flights on the Memorial Day stretch, said Friday it has reduced cancellations by hiring more pilots and flight attendants and scheduling crews to adapt more quickly to disruptions such as than thunderstorms.

So far in June, more than 2.2 million travelers a day on average have passed through security checkpoints at US airports. That’s up 22% from a year ago, but still down 13% from the same period before the pandemic.

The industry worries about ticket sales after Labor Day, when airlines become more reliant on business and international travel, both of which remain depressed.

However, the outlook for US leisure travel remains strong despite higher fares to cover rising fuel costs.

Increase in Allegiant bookings

On Friday, Allegiant Air, a discount carrier that caters to vacationers, said while it’s early days, post-summer travel bookings are higher than this time in 2019.

Allegiant’s update highlighted a wildcard that airlines are still dealing with: COVID-19.

The Las Vegas-based airline said when coronavirus cases began to rise in mid-May, it canceled more flights due to missing crew members. Allegiant said the cancellations will result in second-quarter revenue at the bottom of its previous guidance, but still 28% higher than the same quarter in 2019.

Contact Marvin Clemons at [email protected] Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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