U.S. Air Travel Surges Despite Rising Numbers of Coronavirus Infections
By The Big Magazine Staff
U.S. air travel hit it’s highest recorded number of travelers since February on Sunday, with more than 2.2 million people going through airport checkpoints, according to the Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.).
American Airlines canceled 500 flights, or 16% of Monday’s schedule by late afternoon.
With other planes mostly full this summer, airlines are struggling to rebook passengers on canceled flights. Monday’s cancellations came one day after 7,400 U.S. flights arrived at least 15 minutes behind schedule on Sunday — the government’s definition of late — and more than 900 were canceled, according to tracking service FlightAware.
Since early July there have been at least 5,000 delayed flights on most days. Southwest, American and Spirit are among airlines with the biggest problems.
Leisure travel along with bad weather conditions, has led to delays and flight cancellations leaving airlines struggling to keep up with Summer travelers. Airlines are operating with thousands of less workers post-pandemic, and are often short-staffed even though they received billions in Covid relief and taxpayer money to keep operations running.
While airlines are still recovering from Pandemic loss, the number of new cases of COVID-19 may halt or delay travel even more in the coming months. The seven-day average of new U.S. infections is estimated at 80,000 a day. That’s nearly 150% from two weeks ago, while deaths from Covid-19 remain low.