Traveling for July 4th? Prepare for delays or even cancellations, experts warn – NBC Chicago

Flying in or out of Chicago for the holiday weekend? Be sure to check if your flight is delayed or even cancelled. According to travel experts, the chance of flight disruption this week is high.

According to Flight Aware, there were 4,640 flight delays in, to or out of the United States across the country on Tuesday. More than 600 flights were completely canceled.

At O’Hare alone, 100 flights were canceled between Wednesday and Thursday morning.

According to Joseph P. Schwieterman, professor of Public Service Management at the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University, a surge in flight bookings combined with pilot and TSA staffing issues is creating the perfect storm for what is expected to be the busiest travel weekend of the year yet. — with more than 12.3 million people expected to go through checkpoints.

“U.S. airlines face an extraordinary challenge in handling the volume of domestic traffic expected over the weekend of July 4,” Schwieterman said in a bulletin sent Tuesday.

“The share of canceled flights by the four largest U.S. carriers has regularly been 5% or more in recent weeks, well above the annual average of 1.3% from 2019.”

More than 800 flights across America were canceled on Sunday, according to NBC News.

What airlines say

Lufthansa Group, which includes Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss airlines, said this week it expects delays as the summer months continue.

“We want to be completely honest: in the coming weeks, as passenger numbers continue to rise, whether for leisure or business trips, the situation is unlikely to improve in the short term,” the airline said in an email on Monday. to customers.

“There are still too many employees and resources unavailable, not only from our infrastructure partners but also in some of our own areas,” the email continued.

The airline also noted that the ongoing war in Ukraine “severely limits available airspace in Europe, leading to massive air bottlenecks and thus, unfortunately, further flight delays.”

According to NBC News, Delta blamed the cancellations on “aggravating factors affecting our operation,” including “higher-than-planned unscheduled absences from some of our work groups, weather and air traffic control restrictions.”

United told NBC News that the latest cancellation numbers were skewed due to schedule changes out of Newark, New Jersey, announced last week.

NBC News also reported that Allegiant Air said in a statement Monday that figures in the FlightAware database were skewed due to a “schedule adjustment to 14 flights that were originally supposed to operate.”

What to Expect in Chicago

Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee has responded to the flight problems and has offered vouchers to families whose holiday weekend plans were affected by travel difficulties.

Any family staying at the resort whose trip has been interrupted by a flight cancellation will be eligible for a chance to win a free one night stay at one of 18 resort locations across the country, the company said on Twitter.

The Chicago Department of Aviation said on Wednesday that Chicago’s airports expect 1.6 million travelers through Tuesday, while O’Hare International Airport expects a 17.3% increase from last year and a 36.9% increase. at Midway Airport.

While masks are not mandatory, Chicago remains at a “high” risk level for COVID-19, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the CDPH strongly recommends wearing a mask in indoor public areas, including airports.

If you’re traveling through Chicago for the holidays, keep these tips in mind:

  • Arrive early
  • Please check flight times, parking information, waiting times for taxis, available food at the gate and any other warnings before arrival
  • To avoid the traffic, consider taking the CTA Blue Line to O’Hare and Orange Line to Midway; drop off at the Kiss n’ Fly; or use cell phones while you wait to pick up travelers
  • Watch out for construction work at O’Hare along the curbs in Terminal 5 and roads in Terminals 1, 2 and 3
  • Locate the nearest, new lactation pods to be installed at O’Hare’s Terminal 1, as well as existing pods at Terminals 1, 2, and 3, along with one in Midway

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