Fourth of July travel: Over 2K flights already disrupted Wednesday
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An abundance of flights have been canceled and delayed on Wednesday, leaving passengers infuriated, and in many cases, waiting at airports for extended periods of time.
More than 1,900 flights in, out of and across the U.S. were delayed as of 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Although it's still down from Tuesday, when flight delays surpassed 4,500, FlightAware's live flight delay and cancelation figures have been rapidly increasing.
Airlines have also already canceled 550 flights across the country as of 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to the data.
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Travelers posted on social media this week that they have been at the airport for as long as 12 hours due to delays.
"Sitting at the airport trying to decide what’s worse: a flight that’s straight up canceled and heading to a hotel for a full night sleep or a late night at the airport with longer and longer delays but a glimmer of hope that you’ll take off," one user tweeted.
Ahead of the busy travel season, airlines proactively dropped 15% of the flights they originally planned for June through August to make the remaining flights more reliable, according to Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio.
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Calio said its member carriers also "accelerated robust hiring and training programs in all areas, including flight crew, customer service agents and airport staff in addition to increasing pay for many positions."
Airlines have also been giving passengers more flexibility to change travel plans, according to Calio.
Still, the problems have persisted and scores of passengers have been left in a bind especially during major summer holidays, according to FlightAware data.
"Delta teams continue to safely manage through compounding factors affecting our operations, including higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some of our work groups, weather and air traffic control constraints," Delta Air Lines previously told FOX Business.
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Airlines struggled with bad weather and shortages of workers, especially pilots, leading to widespread cancellations over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which typically kicks off the summer travel season.
Delays over the long weekend averaged 21%, according to FlightAware spokesperson Kathleen Bangs. Meanwhile, cancellations reached as high as 4.7% on the Friday of that holiday weekend, Bangs added.
The website also saw a "streak of delays and even higher cancellations" over Father’s Day and the Juneteenth holiday weekend as well, according to Bangs. On Thursday and Friday of that weekend, cancellations reached 6% and 5%, respectively, she said.
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Troubles haven't eased as the next major summer holiday nears.
Over the past weekend, more than 18,000 flights were delayed from Friday through Sunday, according to FlightAware data. Each day, 23% of all flights were delayed and about 3% were canceled, according to the data.
In a few days, over 47 million people are expected to travel for the July 4 weekend. Over 3 million of them are planning to fly.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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