Soaring Prices, Cancellations, and Delays for Air Travelers over Memorial Day Weekend

Delta Airlines aircrafts are seen in the background behind travelers passing through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on April 11, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

If you’re traveling over the Memorial Day weekend, expect plenty of company – and disappointment. The summer travel season is now officially underway with anyone heading for an airport warned to be prepared for soaring prices, cancellations, and delays.

AP reports upwards of 1,500 flights were canceled as of 9:50 p.m EDT Saturday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. That followed more than 2,300 cancellations on Friday.

Flight no-shows are only the beginning of the problems that lie in wait across Joe Biden’s America as the nation embraces the busiest travel season since the start of 2019.

Domestic airline fares for summer are averaging more than $400 for a round trip, 24 percent percent higher than this time in 2019, before the pandemic, and a full 45 percent higher than a year ago, according to travel-data firm Hopper.

Travelers queue up move through the north security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver. Flyers are not only facing sticker shock this Memorial Day weekend but they’re also battling a pileup of flight cancellations. More than 1,000 flights were canceled as of Saturday afternoon according to flight tracking website FlightAware, after 2,300 cancellations on Friday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The price rises are driven by demand as airlines and tourist destinations ready for monster crowds this summer as travel restrictions ease and pandemic fatigue overcomes lingering fear of contracting coronavirus during travel.

Soaring oil prices are also adding to the cost burden as Americans feel the pressures across the board.

Many forecasters believe the number of travelers will match or even surpass levels in the gloried pre-pandemic days. However, airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did in 2019, and that has at times contributed to widespread flight cancellations, according to the AP report.

Which carriers are experiencing problems?

People travel through the terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport at the start of the Memorial Day weekend on May 27, 2022 in New York City. The holiday weekend is expected to be the busiest time for travel since 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People wait to board trains at the Moynihan Train Hall in Manhattan at the start of the Memorial Day weekend on May 27, 2022 in New York City. The holiday weekend is expected to be the busiest time for travel since 2019, with AAA predicting a more than eight percent increase in Americans traveling compared to last year. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

AP outlines Delta Air Lines suffered the most among U.S. airlines, with more than 250 flights, or nine percent of its operations, eliminated on Saturday.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, where Delta is based and has its largest hub, experienced heavy travel delays. On Saturday, five percent of the flights there were canceled, while 16 percent were delayed.

Delta noted in an email to AP that Saturday’s cancellations were due to bad weather and “air traffic control actions,” noting it’s trying to cancel flights at least 24 hours in advance this Memorial Day weekend.

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