It’s been a tough holiday weekend at domestic airports with thousands of flights canceled or delayed, causing all sorts of headaches for travellers. But will it become a trend for the rest of the summer?
FlightAware reported later that Memorial Day afternoon that there were 29 canceled flights and 124 delayed flights to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The numbers are lower than the rest of the long weekend, but they still put a damper on some passengers’ holiday weekend.
“It was frustrating. We had things planned for the morning that we couldn’t do because we arrived so late,” said Meredith Argyris of New Jersey.
Argyris says she was over three hours late on her flight to Barcelona on Friday. She almost missed her brother’s wedding.
Airlines have blamed the cancellations on bad weather in parts of the United States, as well as staffing issues. That was not good news for one of the busiest travel weekends the industry has seen in a few years.
Matthew Kondrup, of Matty K Travel Group in Wantagh, says he has been working all weekend to reroute customers whose flights have been canceled or delayed. He says travelers should expect to see more challenges at airports this summer. However, he says there are things travelers can do to alleviate the issues.
“The most important thing is number 1 – having travel insurance, so that if you get stuck somewhere, you have the option of getting a hotel room, booking a new trip – a big part of those things are covered,” he said.
Kondrup also recommends choosing airlines with multiple flights a day to your destination, that way if one is canceled you can get one later. He says to book flights early as they are less likely to be delayed or cancelled. Kondrup recommends monitoring airline communications for flight changes and always arriving at the airport early.
Sivona Blake heard about all the cancellations over the weekend but says her flight today was uneventful.
“I traveled two weeks ago and had a few delays coming back from California so I was really worried, but it worked out so I’m happy,” Blake said.
Travel experts warn that with increased travel demand this summer, delays and cancellations could be commonplace. They say try to take them in stride and try not to assuage the frustrations of frontline airport workers who don’t control flight schedules.