In the United States, hundreds of flights have been canceled for the National Day weekend

Americans heading to the airport to visit their families on July 4th risked a nasty surprise on Saturday as airlines had already canceled hundreds of flights, largely due to staffing issues.

According to flightaware.com, 600 flights had already been canceled by the afternoon, while almost 3,100 others were delayed.

The situation was already difficult the day before, according to the specialized website, which as of Friday listed 587 canceled flights out of a total of 3,060 worldwide and almost 8,000 delays.

These setbacks for American passengers represent a fundamental trend: United States airlines, which are employing 15% fewer staff compared to pre-pandemic times, are struggling to cope with the massive return of passengers to their planes.

According to their own statements, companies in the industry are working to solve the problem, intensifying their recruitment campaigns for pilots and other categories of personnel and reducing the number of available seats for passengers.

Aviation sector officials mention other complicating external factors, notably climatic or due to Covid.

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg reminded passengers on Twitter on Saturday that they are entitled to a refund if they cancel.

Delta Airlines pilots also demonstrated Thursday to demand wage increases in proportion to overtime worked.

“It’s frankly irresponsible to overbook. At the end of the pandemic, we’re planning more flights than we have people piloting them,” lamented one of their union representatives, Jason Ambrosi, on the CNN channel on Saturday. .

The tired pilots didn’t want to block the passengers, he assured, “but it’s a safety issue.”

However, massive cancellations have not stopped travelers from overcrowding at airports. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) estimates that the number of stops — nearly 2.5 million as of Friday — had “returned to pre-pandemic levels” for the first time.

A number that is all the more impressive as, according to the American Automobile Association, a record 42 million Americans were to travel by car during this festival weekend.

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