Labor Day travel sees massive delays: ‘My dad has Parkinson’s and was forced to wait in a 5-hour line’

Exasperated travelers took to social media over the holiday weekend to express their frustrations after more than 1,000 U.S. domestic and international flights were delayed over the nation’s fourth busiest travel weekend.

A further 127 flights were outright canceled according to Flight Aware, a website that compiles data for every commercial flight around the world.

“Delta cancelled my elderly parents flight from JFK to London yesterday, one hour before departure,” one Twitter user wrote, noting those who were affected were simply referred to a help desk where they had to wait for hours only to be told the airline had no more hotel rooms to offer as relief, the Daily Mail reported.

“My dad has Parkinson’s and was forced to wait in a five-hour line in a foreign country without a phone or even an apology,” she tweeted on Sunday.

Nicholas Kralev, the executive director of the Washington International Diplomatic Academy, tweeted that his flight from Dulles International Airport in Virginia to Accra, Ghana was delayed four times for more than 12 hours in order to ‘service the aircraft.’

Another user named Sylvie Tongco posted a similar complaint directed at United Airlines.

Still, Sunday’s mess of cancellations and delays was child’s play compared to the day before, when more than 3,600 flights were delayed and 145 canceled. The TSA estimates that 6.2 million people have already passed through their checkpoints between Thursday and Saturday, with Sunday and Monday’s totals to be determined.

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Denver International Airport, and Los Angeles International were predicted to be the busiest in the country, with LAX tweeting that Friday would be the “busiest day of the long weekend with 100,000 departing passengers and 92,000 vehicles entering the Central Terminal Area.”

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg – the hardest working man in the Biden cabinet – announced in a statement Thursday the creation of a traveler’s dashboard of sorts that will make “significant changes” to all but one of the 10 largest US airlines. After all, if the TSA is any indication, things always run more smoothly and cost-effectively when the federal government gets involved.

“Passengers deserve transparency and clarity on what to expect from an airline when there is a cancelation or disruption,” Buttigieg trumpeted.

“This dashboard collects that information in one place, so travelers can easily understand their rights, compare airline practices and make informed decisions. The Department will continue to support passengers and to hold airlines responsible for adhering to their customer obligations,” he added.

Under the direction of the Air Line Pilots Association, off-duty pilots for six airlines picketed at more than a dozen airports across the U.S on Thursday, demanding improved working conditions and benefits.

“When ALPA pilots stand shoulder to shoulder in support of shared goals, people notice — our airlines notice,” the group said in a statement.

“That’s why on September 1, we’re asking all ALPA pilots to join us for an ALPA-wide informational picket to show the public, our lawmakers and our airlines that all airline pilot stand together in support of the profession-wide goal of improved working conditions and benefits.”

Several airlines have already cut down their flight schedules as a result of mishandled COVID policies carried out by the FAA, including massive reductions in pilots and key employees for refusing to get the COVID vaccine.

“The politics of mandates have cost airlines big time. American, Delta, and United have reported combined losses of $36.5 billion since the beginning of 2020. Southwest Airlines is expected to post its second annual loss in 47 years,” BPR reported in March.

Newark Airport in New Jersey is one of the busiest in the nation and usually sees the greatest number of delays on any given day. United maintains the largest footprint of all airlines operating in Newark and recently decided to cut 12 percent of its domestic flights, citing airport construction as one of the reasons.

“After the last few weeks of irregular operations in Newark, caused by many factors including airport construction, we reached out to the [Federal Aviation Administration] and reached a waiver allowing us to temporarily adjust our schedule there for the remainder of the summer,” Jon Roitman, executive vice president and chief operating officer for United wrote in a memo, according to CNBC.

“Even though we have the planes pilots, crews and staff to support our Newark schedule, this waiver will allow us to remove about 50 daily departures, which should help minimize excessive delays and improve on-time performance – not only for our customers, but for everyone flying through Newark.’

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