Thousands of Flights Canceled or Delayed over Spring Break Weekend

domestic air travel
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Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed over the weekend as travelers were trying to reach their destinations amid spring break travel.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, more than 3,500 flights were canceled and 8,800 were delayed over the weekend.

Southwest Airlines canceled the most flights: 520 on Saturday and 398 on Sunday. American Airlines was a close second, with 364 cancelations on Saturday and 211 on Sunday.

Budget airlines Spirit canceled the largest percentage of flights over the weekend, with 27 percent of flights canceled on both Saturday and Sunday. JetBlue Airlines canceled 15 percent of its flights on Saturday and 25 percent on Sunday.

The weekend cancelations poured into Monday, with 4,345 flights delayed into or out of the United States and 711 canceled. Globally, there were 11,523 flights delayed.

An Airbus A321-231 operated by JetBlue takes off from JFK Airport on August 24, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

An Airbus A321-231 operated by JetBlue takes off from JFK Airport. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The airlines cited different reasons for the mass cancellations and delays. JetBlue cited “severe weather in the Southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs,” as a reason for the delays. Southwest Airlines blamed “weather and airspace congestion” and a “technology issue” for their cancelations and delays.

Alaska Airlines, whose cancelations affected more than 37,000 customers, did not give a reason for the delays but referred to contract negotiations with its pilots in a statement.

“Alaska Airlines failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take the steps necessary to ensure it attracted and retained pilots,” the pilots’ union said.

President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has remained silent while cancelations and delays hit airlines across the country. Interestingly, this is not the first wave of mass flight cancelations to happen under Biden’s administration.

Last fall, airlines similarly canceled or delayed thousands of flights over the holiday season while millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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