Memorial weekend travelers on the U.S. East coast may be in for some travel-related misery as flight delays and cancellations tick up due to weather.
According to flightaware, a website to track commercial flights, more than 2,000 flights have been delayed flying into, within, or out of the U.S. and another 446 have been canceled.
The most affected airline at Tampa International Airport is Delta Airlines. Flightaware reports 9% of Delta’s flights canceled and another 9% delayed across the country. In Tampa, Delta has already canceled 12 flights originally scheduled to leave Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.
A weather advisory on Delta’s website lists 10 airports where weather may force cancellations or delays. Tampa International Airport is not on the list.
In a blog post published on Delta’s website on Thursday, the company announced it would scale back the number of summer flights in order to “build resilience” in their system.
“More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation – weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups – are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband, in the blog post.
Tampa International Airport Director of Communications Emily Nipps said the airport typically gets up to 70,000 travelers on any given day. A holiday weekend like Memorial Day weekend will exceed that number.
She said the delays this weekend were due to weather and the increased number of flights for the holiday weekend.
“When there’s a lot of flights coming and going, the Jacksonville air traffic control center regulates the number of flights over the state,” Nipps said. The Jacksonville center may delay flights at airports around the state to prevent traffic congestion in the air.
As for why certain airlines appear to be more affected by inclement weather, Nipps said it all depends on the carrier.
“Each airline is different depending on where most of their flights are coming from and where their hub is.”
Grant Myatt, a spokesperson for Delta, said via email that the company was “looking to enact any cancellations at least 24 hours in advance of departure time wherever possible.” Delta customers can receive up-to-date notifications for their flights through the Fly Delta App, email, or text message, he said