Fourth of July holiday expected to exceed pre-pandemic traffic levels for airlines

Published on : Saturday, July 3, 2021

The Fourth of July holiday is marking a major milestone for airlines, as air travel is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels for the first time in two years. The TSA has shared that it expects more than 3 1/2 million Americans to fly during the Independence Day travel window resulting in long lines and crowded airports.

For some, air travel is already off to a turbulent start with the bad weather already causing cancellations and delays from Atlanta to Miami, Dallas, and New York City. At Los Angeles International Airport, an unattended bag already caused an hours long shutdown.

The Transportation Security Administration is still trying to recover from a worker shortage. Travel journalist Peter Greenberg suggested looking for security lines at airports with only one person checking the x-ray screen, since two or more TSA agents huddled around could mean one of them is training and it may delay your trip.

The bumps, as airline staffing shortages create issues across the board. Southwest is also canceling hundreds of flights per day and asking staff to pick up extra shifts this weekend. Meanwhile, American Airlines is cutting about 80 flights per day thru mid-July.

Dan Velez, TSA spokesperson said in a statement that it was not a lot more, just a few 1,000, but it is a significant milestone because a 2019 number has not been surpassed since the pandemic began. It is always  going to be busy during the Fourth of July after people have been cooped up for a year.  

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