By some measures, air travelers had a less stressful summer than last year, but cancellations remained high as airlines faced the last big test of the prime holiday season: Labor Day weekend.
The FAA predicts it will be the third busiest holiday weekend so far this year, behind only Juneteenth weekend, which includes Father’s Day and President’s Day holidays.
Hurricane Idalia Should stay away from the Atlantic coast as most holiday revelers will drive or go to the airport.Airlines canceled dozens of flights scheduled for Thursday in Florida and Georgia, but there were few flights on Friday, according to tracking services flight perception.Tampa International Airport said it would resume normal operations Including flights departing early Thursday.
Travelers can check what’s going on where they’re going FAA website.
Thursday’s numbers are busiest day There were 52,203 flights scheduled in U.S. airspace, followed by Friday’s 49,111 flights, according to the FAA. Flights are scheduled to resume on Monday and Tuesday after a lull on Saturday and Sunday. These figures include airlines, the military and some private flights.
The TSA expects to screen more than 14 million passengers Friday through Wednesday, an increase of nearly 11% over the same weekend last year.
AAA said bookings for domestic travel (flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises) were 4% higher than Labor Day last year. The auto club and insurance seller said international bookings jumped 44% as COVID-19 restrictions lifted, with the most popular destinations being Vancouver, Rome, London, Dublin and Paris.
Gasoline prices are similar to last year. The national average was $3.83 a gallon Wednesday, a penny lower than a year ago. AAA report.
Every seat on many planes is expected to be full this weekend, capping off a busy summer season.
American expects to carry nearly 3.5 million passengers on about 32,000 flights between Thursday and next Tuesday. United Airlines is expected to have its biggest Labor Day weekend ever, with nearly 2.8 million passengers over the six-day period.
US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data shows that the number of travelers passing through U.S. airport checkpoints in August was 2% higher than in August 2019 before the pandemic.
The good news for travelers is that cancellations are down about 19% from last summer, according to tracking service FlightAware. Still, the 1.8% cancellation rate since June 1 is double that of the same period in 2019, with flight delays even more common than last summer.
Weather has been responsible for about three-quarters of all airline delays this year, according to the FAA, but at other times the agency’s air traffic control centers are overloaded with flights, many of which are understaffed.
Travelers are getting some respite from last year’s soaring airfares. The average fare on domestic flights in July was down 9 percent from June and 19 percent from July last year, according to government data consumer price index. However, the index sample is skewed towards discount airlines – with the largest reporting their prices closer to 2022 levels.