Fourth of July weekend is upon us with Americans expected to hit the roads in record numbers with AAA travel predicting approximately 42 million people driving at least 50 miles from home.
AAA travel forecasted that air travelers are projected to reach 3.55 million for the holiday, which is still 9.3% lower than 2019 levels.
What Should Air Travelers Expect: Major airlines have been reporting pilot shortages and scheduling are the main issues. For the month of June, airlines canceled 21,300 flights and experienced 178,300 delays, as mentioned by CNBC Television on Thursday.
Joseph Schwieterman, a professor at DePaul University, stated in a June 29 report that the four largest U.S. airlines have consistently canceled 5% of flights on average in the past few weeks. According to FlightAware, 255 flights have been canceled while 1,654 are delayed within the U.S. as of Friday morning.
How Does This Impact Airlines: CNBC Television reported on Thursday that 1,500 off-duty Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) pilots picketed at seven major hubs complaining about pay, job security and scheduling fatigue. The pilots were seen carrying signs that said, “Ready To Strike” and “Industry Leading Contract Now.”
In a Thursday morning email to SkyMiles members, Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized for delays and cancellations saying, “this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable.”
According to Business Insider, Delta offered passengers on overbooked flights out of Minnesota and Grand Rapids, Michigan $10,000 to give up their seats.
Delta stock is up 1.73% at $29.47 Friday afternoon.
Recent Contract Negotiations: On Friday, June 24, United Airlines Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) announced a new contract for pilots allowing three raises of 14.5%, as stated by CNBC.
United stock is up 2.65% at $36.35 Friday afternoon.
As reported by CNBC Television on Thursday, American Airlines Group Inc (NYSE:AAL) offered its pilots a 17% raise in compensation through 2024.
American stock is up 3.71% at $13.16 Friday afternoon.
Best Times to Travel: According to AAA, the ideal time to travel by car on Friday is before 10 a.m. or after 9 p.m., while the worst time to travel is from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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