Some signs of improvement for air travelers at NY, NJ airports ahead of holiday weekend

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, June 29, 2023
Passengers recount experiences with flight delays, cancelations
Justin Finch has the latest on travel woes affecting the nation and leaving people stranded.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- For the first time in days, the FAA is not warning of issues at New York City or Washington, DC area airports. Cancellations have dropped off significantly Thursday morning.

As of 7:30 a.m., there were 365 nationwide cancellations. However, there have been 7,952 flight cancellations since Saturday.

United is the airline struggling to reset and accounts for 313 of Thursday's cancellations. The airline hopes it will be the last impacted day and is paying some crew up to triple time to pick up trips in order to get back on track.

Total Cancellations:

Saturday: 522

Sunday: 1412

Monday: 2,250

Tuesday: 2,205

Wednesday: 1,198

Thursday: 365 as of 7:30 a.m.


United Airlines' 313 canceled flights is 11% of its schedule, according to FlightAware. But, just 40 flights are reported cancelled at Newark Airport Thursday, 6% of the schedule.

United is saying its baggage backlog at Newark has dropped more than 30% since Tuesday and it expects to "be on track to restore our operation for the holiday weekend."

"We're beginning to see improvement across our operation. We expect to cancel far fewer seats today compared to yesterday and our baggage backlog at Newark has dropped more than 30% since Tuesday, and off-duty flight attendants are calling in from across the country to staff open trips. It's all-hands-on-deck as our pilots get aircraft moving, contact center teams work overtime to take care of our customers, and our airport customer service staff works tirelessly to deliver bags and board flights. As our operation improves in the days ahead, we will be on track to restore our operation for the holiday weekend," a United Airlines spokesperson said.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke with United CEO Scott Kirby Wednesday, his office said, "Air traffic controller shortages is not one of the top issues causing flight delays." But, he said it is a factor.

Buttigieg said Thursday is expected to be the busiest travel day of the holiday weekend and may be the busiest travel day since the pandemic.

The travel torture started this past weekend when a combination of summer storms and a fire in an air traffic control facility started the domino effect of delays.

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