Labor Day Chaos as Hundreds of Flights Delayed or Cancelled

Labor Day weekend saw delays and cancellations to more than 1,000 flights in and out of the United States on Sunday. Angry travellers are now expressing their anger and frustration on Twitter as they wait hours, maybe even days for a new flight.

Labor Day flight cancellations - passengers with luggage walk past an Alaska Airlines check-in area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
© Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Delays, cancellations and more delays

Multiple airlines and airports say several factors played a part, including bad weather, staffing shortages, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ground stops, as well as Saturday’s failed shuttle launch.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport reported 50 Labor Day flight delays and five flight cancellations, the site said — followed in the US by New York’s JFK Airport, which reported 38 delays as of 2:30 p.m.

Overall, 1,345 flights had been delayed within, into, or out of the US, and another 157 cancelled, the site said.

Turkish Airlines had reported 628 delays, more than any other airline. Delta and American Airlines reported the most delays of any US carriers — 197 and 179, respectively.

One Twitter user noted that “Delta cancelled my elderly parent’s flight from JFK to London yesterday, one hour before departure.”

Post-pandemic Labor Day weekend travel demand

International travel has increased by 102% since COVID restrictions were lifted, with 1.8 million travellers going abroad, The Sun reported.

“It’s going to be busier than last Labor Day weekend, we are definitely seeing some days, some peak days that are actually higher than we saw pre-pandemic.” Emily Nipps, a representative for the Tampa International Airport.

It was predicted to be the busiest Labor Day travel weekend in three years, according to Fox Weather.

On Thursday, September 1st, the Department of Transportation said it launched an airline customer service dashboard, prompting “significant changes” from all but one of the 10 largest US airlines.

Many passengers have expressed that the Labor Day flight delays and cancellations resulted in them paying more money to rebook their own flights as they were not assisted or compensated by some airlines as the new mandate, ‘The Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act’ was created to protect customers and ensure they are given full refunds for cancelled flights by US airlines.

Families stranded and separated at these airports due to the vast delays and cancellations, will they be compensated fairly for their inconveniences?

If you travelled over the Labor Day weekend and were affected by the Labor Day flight delays, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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