April Airport Madness Throughout the East Coast
On the weekend of April 3 to April 4, 2022, thousands of flights on the East Coast were canceled and delayed due to a multitude of reasons. Both bad weather conditions and technical issues caused over 1,500 flights to be canceled by a wide array of airlines. Weather in Florida was one of the main causes of delay. The fear for travelers was that their flight would be canceled last minute and they’d be stranded. This event was labeled as a travel nightmare for all.
According to the website, “Live and Let’s Fly,” these airlines delayed and canceled large percentages of flights:
Southwest – 14% Canceled, 41% Delayed
American Airlines – 12% Canceled, 20% Delayed
Delta Air Lines – 8% Canceled, 20% Delayed
JetBlue – 14% Canceled, 52% Delayed
Spirit Airlines – 26% Canceled, 29% Delayed
Allegiant Airlines – 21% Canceled, 35% Delayed
Alaska Airlines – 11% Canceled, 13% Delayed
United Airlines – 2% Canceled, 24% Delayed
Frontier Airlines – 10% Canceled, 27% Delayed
Republic Airlines – 3% Canceled, 12% Delayed
The weather was one of the main causes of delays and cancellations. Major thunderstorms in Florida led to multi-hour-long delays and airborne detours. The Washington Post stated, “Southwest said problems with weather, air traffic conditions, and airspace congestion started snowballing Saturday, leading to hundreds of cancellations across the country.” Southwest expressed that crews were out of their planned positions and it yet again caused further delays. Jet Blue also stated that weather conditions were the main factor in the cause of this calamity.
A number of airlines also experienced pilot and crew shortages. Alaska Airlines experienced a shortage of 130 pilots due to conflicts over contracts. This past weekend they were down 60 pilots, however, they handled this dilemma considerably well.
Passengers’ travel plans were altered, and in some cases, expensive adjustments had to be made to their travel. For passengers such as Steve Hanna, he stated that he waited in line for two hours in hopes of finding an alternate route back to his home in Nebraska. “We would have to wait three days… maybe we could fly to Chicago or anywhere, right? Just to get on an airplane and go,” Hanna expressed to Click Orlando. Passengers all over the East Coast, especially in Orlando, became desperate to get on a plane to get back to their lives. Events from weather to technical issues left travelers stranded at airports scrambling for a way to get home.