Delta among U.S. airlines with highest number of weekend delays, cancellations

As of 5p.m. on Friday, more than 6,000 flights across the U.S. were delayed or cancelled, according to Flight Aware.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The summer surge, staffing shortages and strong storms have pushed airlines to the limit, leading to long lines at ticket counters at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday.

Felicia Crook planned to be on a plane to Syracuse, New York for a funeral, but she booked the wrong day and couldn’t find another flight. To make matters worse, the Delta flight her family was supposed to be on was also canceled.

“It’s been very hectic,” Crook said. “They didn’t tell them why it was canceled, but they canceled everybody’s flight.”

As of 5 p.m. on Friday, more than 6,000 flights across the U.S. were delayed or canceled, according to Flight Aware. American Airlines and Atlanta-based Delta had the most cancellations. A Delta spokesperson told CBS46 their operational challenges were partly due to “lingering impacts of air traffic control and weather issues.”

More than 10,000 flights were delayed or canceled nationwide on Thursday, making it one of the worst summer travel days yet.

In a recent letter to customers, Delta pilots said the union has been telling the airline for months that their scheduling doesn’t match staffing. As a result, Captain Evan Baach, spokesperson for the Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, said pilots are working record overtime

“Before the pandemic, we had a little bit more time in between flights, longer layovers and so that buffer helped the system if there were problems,” Baach explained. “By the end of summer through the Fall, we will have worked twice as much overtime as we did in 2018-2019 combined.”

Delta issued the following statement in response to the union’s letter:

“All of our people, including our pilots, are working hard to restore our airline and deliver for our customers as we emerge from the pandemic. We are grateful for and proud of their efforts.

We continuously evaluate our staffing models and plan ahead so that we can recover quickly when unforeseen circumstances arise, and the resilience of the Delta people is unmatched in that regard. Pilot schedules remain in line with all requirements set by the FAA as well as those outlined in our pilot contract.”

In May, Delta announced it will cut about 100 flights per day from its summer schedule. The cuts will be from July 1-Aug. 7, and primarily affect markets in the U.S. and in Latin America.

What can you do if your flight is delayed or canceled?

  1. Use Google Flights. It’s the number one platform for finding cheap flights.
  2. Be sure your carrier has an “interline agreement.” It allows airlines to place passengers on competitors’ flights
  3. Travel insurance is often a good investment
  4. Don’t settle for a voucher. The law states you are entitled to a refund for unused transportation – even for non-refundable tickets

For more travel tips that will save you time and money, click here.