Hundreds of flights canceled across the US ahead of July Fourth weekend

Hundreds of flights were canceled across the US on Monday — a bleak sign of the potential travel chaos to come ahead of the busy Fourth of July weekend.

More than 830 flights were scrapped across the country as of Monday evening — as wind and rain blanketed parts of the northeast — though cancellations en masse were reported early in the morning, according to tracking site FlightAware

Close to 1 in 5 flights (17%) out of Newark Liberty International Airport were axed before dinnertime, while LaGuardia Airport was reporting 37% of scheduled flights delayed.

A total of 32 flights — or 4% — had been canceled at JFK Airport, with 181 (26%) delayed.

Of the hundreds of flights canceled and thousands delayed across the country, more than 200 were operated by Delta and 120 by United, the flight tracking data showed.

American Airlines had canceled 60 flights as of 9:30 a.m.

The latest cancellations come as an estimated 3.5 million people were expected to travel for the holiday weekend, the American Automobile Association’s latest predictions show.

A departures board shows canceled flights.
More than 700 flights had been scrapped across the United States as of 9:30 a.m. Monday, FlightAware data showed.
Getty Images

It is the lowest number of travelers to take to the skies over Fourth of July since 2011, the AAA said.

“Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancellations and delays may be driving this increase,” the agency said.

The US has been plagued by mass flight cancellations in recent months due, in part, to pilot and airline staff shortages, as well as a lack of air traffic controllers on the ground.

Airlines have said they have struggled to refill the shortages left by the wave of layoffs and resignations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passengers wait inside LaGuardia Airport in April
Hundreds of flights across the US were canceled Monday ahead of the Fourth of July travel weekend.
Getty Images

Travelers wait in line to check-in for flights at Newark Liberty.
The US has been hit with mass flight cancellations in recent months amid shortages of pilots and airline staff.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trade group Airlines for America has also blamed a shortage of Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers for the travel chaos.

But the FAA has since fired back, referencing the $50 billion in taxpayer money that airlines received after the pandemic devastated air travel.

“People expect when they buy an airline ticket that they’ll get where they need to go safely, efficiently, reliably and affordably,” the FAA said in a statement.

“After receiving $54 billion in pandemic relief to help save the airlines from mass layoffs and bankruptcy, the American people deserve to have their expectations met.”