Americans didn’t let high gas prices and airport chaos keep them at home this July 4th.
Millions of travelers gathered at airports over the weekend andbecause thousands of flights were delayed or canceled.
The Transportation Security Administration estimated it screened more than 6 million people Friday through Sunday — a number close to pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 2.5 million passengers were screened on Friday alone, making it the busiest day at US airports since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes amid growing demand, staff shortages and high gas prices, a combination that has resulted in. According to flight tracking website FlightAware, nearly 17,000 flights were delayed and more than 1,400 flights canceled over the weekend.
One of the disappointed passengers was Alam Khan, whose flight from New Jersey to Toronto was canceled days before his wedding.
“We just got here, they told us right now that it’s cancelled,” Khan said.
Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg has come under pressure to address the turmoil.
“This is something that affects all of us, and it affects the economy when it happens because a lot of people can’t get to where they need to be to work, so a lot of people can’t get to the people they need.” dear,” he said. Morning” on CBS.
Buttigieg is calling on airlines to do better, noting that the industry received a $54 billion bailout at the height of the pandemic.
“We have sent a lot of money to taxpayers, specifically for the purpose of keeping people working at these airlines,” he said. “And now, they need the people and they need the resources to get people where they need to be.”
This year, more flights were delayed than in any other year in the past decade. Shortage of personnel is one of the biggest factors, especially for pilots. Just last Thursday,across the country to demand higher wages and better working conditions.
Chaos at airports could be why 42 million Americans choose to skip airports altogether this holiday and hit the road instead – despite.
That’s what Khan finally did so he could come to his wedding. He drove more than nine hours to Toronto after his rebooked flight from Newark was also cancelled.