Lhe national holiday risks being ruined for thousands of people. This Saturday, July 2, some Americans on their way to the airport to join their families for the July 4 holiday were unpleasantly surprised to see that airlines had to cancel hundreds of flights due in particular to staffing problems. . In the afternoon, 600 flights were already canceled, while nearly 3,100 others had been delayed, according to flightaware.com.
The situation was already difficult the day before, according to the specialized site, which listed Friday 587 canceled flights out of a total of 3,060 in the world, and nearly 8,000 delays. These setbacks for American passengers constitute a basic trend: the airlines of the United States, which employ 15% less staff compared to the pre-pandemic period, are having difficulty managing the massive return of passengers to their planes. Companies in the sector say they are working to solve the problem, intensifying their recruitment campaigns for pilots and other categories of personnel and reducing the number of seats available for passengers.
“Irresponsible to overbook”
Officials in the aviation sector mention other aggravating external factors, in particular climatic or due to Covid. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reminded passengers on Twitter on Saturday that they are entitled to a refund in the event of cancellation.
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Delta Airlines pilots also demonstrated on Thursday to demand wage increases in relation to the number of overtime hours worked. “It’s frankly irresponsible to overbook. Coming out of the pandemic, we plan more flights than we have people to fly them, ”regrets one of their union representatives, Jason Ambrosi, on the CNN channel on Saturday. The pilots, tired, do not want to block the passengers, he assured, “but it is a question of safety. »
Massive cancellations haven’t stopped travelers from thronging airports, however, with the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) estimating the number of checkpoints, nearly 2.5 million on Friday, was for the first time “back to pre-pandemic volume. This figure is all the more impressive as 42 million Americans, a record, are expected to travel by car during this weekend of festivities, according to the American Automobile Association.
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