Thousands of travelers are facing travel chaos over Labor Day weekend due to hundreds of flights being canceled.
Airlines and airports say several factors played a part, including bad weather, staffing shortages, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ground stops, and Saturday’s failed shuttle launch.
The delays and cancellations caused chaos for thousands just as experts anticipated that more Americans would travel by air and car over the weekend than at any time since the pandemic began.
Bookings for domestic travel, which included flights, cars, cruises, hotels, and tours, have increased by 22 percent over Labor Day weekend in 2021, AAA spokesperson Ellen Edmonds told the Washington Post.
Hopper, a travel booking app, previously predicted that 12.8 million Americans would fly domestically from Thursday to Monday.
International travel has also increased by 102 percent since COVID restrictions laced, with 1.8 million travelers going abroad, The Sun reported.
“It’s going to be busier than last Labor Day weekend,” Emily Nipps, a representative for the Tampa International Airport, stated.
“We are definitely seeing some days, some peak days that are actually higher than we saw pre-pandemic.”
Today, 105 flights within, into, or out of the United States were canceled, and 1,622 US flights have been delayed.