Airlines cancel thousands of flights as they storm American travelers

Tens of thousands of airmen thwarted travel plans on Friday after the airlines canceled some 1,400 US flights as storms hit the east coast.

Another 6,300 flights were delayed in the early evening, adding more chaos to these weekend travel plans, according to FlightAware’s tracking service.

It was the second consecutive day of major disruptions and the worst day for cancellations since mid-June.

Three major airports in the New York City area and Reagan National Airport near Washington saw the most cancellations.

American Airlines has canceled some 250 flights, or 7% of its schedule. Republic Airways, which serves smaller planes for American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, canceled a similar number, around 25% of their flights.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, thunderstorms stopped or delayed early evening flights in the New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Denver areas.

About 1,200 flights to the US were canceled on Thursday, 4.6% of all scheduled flights.

This summer, travelers have been hit by widespread cancellations and delays. Travel returned faster than expected – to around 88% of its pre-pandemic level in July – and the airlines were unable to expand staff numbers quickly enough. They limit schedules by trying to make the remaining flights more reliable.

Airlines flying in the US had a bad June, canceling over 21,000 flights, or 2.7%, up from 1.8% in June 2019, before airlines forced employees to depart during the pandemic. However, the airlines did better in July, canceling around 14,000 flights, or 1.8%.

The delays were more persistent – over 23% in both June and July.

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