Delta among U.S. airlines with highest number of weekend delays, cancellations

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – The summer surge, staffing shortages and strong storms have pushed airlines to the limit, leading to long lines at ticket counters at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday.

Felicia Crook planned to be on a plane to Syracuse, New York for a funeral, but she booked the wrong day and couldn’t find another flight. To make matters worse, the Delta flight her family was supposed to be on was also cancelled.

“It’s been very hectic,” Crook said. “They didn’t tell them why it was cancelled, but they cancelled everybody’s flight.”

As of 5p.m. on Friday, more than 6,000 flights across the U.S. were delayed or cancelled, according to Flight Aware. American Airlines and Atlanta-based Delta had the most cancellations. A Delta spokesperson told CBS46 their operational challenges were partly due to “lingering impacts of air traffic control and weather issues.”

More than 10,000 flights were delayed or canceled nationwide on Thursday, making it one the worst summer travel days yet.

In a recent letter to customers, Delta pilots said the union has been telling the air line for months that their scheduling doesn’t match staffing. As a result, Captain Evan Baach, spokesperson for the Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, said pilots are working record overtime

“Before the pandemic, we had a little bit more time in between flights, longer layovers and so that buffer really helped the system if there were problems,” Baach explained. “By the end of summer through the Fall, we will have worked twice as much overtime as we did in 2018-2019 combined.”

Delta issued the following statement in response to the union’s letter:

“All of our people, including our pilots, are working hard to restore our airline and deliver for our customers as we emerge from the pandemic. We are grateful for and proud of their efforts.

We continuously evaluate our staffing models and plan ahead so that we can recover quickly when…

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