ATLANTA — This Fourth of July, it’s tougher to get to your destination. Drivers are paying more at the pump and flyers are getting trapped by delays and cancellations.
“It was frustrating,” said Brikha Guragai.
Guragai is one of the many passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dealing with flight cancellations. He had plans to fly to Australia, but not anymore due to his flight being canceled.
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He’s not alone. According to Flightaware.com, 50 flights were canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson on Saturday.
Forty-one of those were Delta flights. In addition, a total of 361 flights were delayed among all of the airlines at the airport.
A Delta Airlines pilot spoke to Channel 2, but didn’t want to be identified. They said that pilot staffing shortages are largely to blame. “It feels bad when we show up to an airplane, and here’s 180 customers on our airplane and we have to cancel because we can’t find but one pilot. And I’ve had to do that a couple of times, and tell them how sorry I was for it. But you know, it only goes so far.”
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A Delta Airlines spokesperson released a statement that said in part, “Delta teams continue to safely manage through compounding factors affecting our operation, including higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some of our work groups... Canceling a flight is always our last resort, and we sincerely apologize to our customers..”
Meanwhile, AAA predicts that nearly 48 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more from home over the weekend, slightly fewer than in 2019.
AAA also said car travel will hit a record this Fourth of July, even with gas prices soaring.
Many people would rather drive than fly.
“Because when I checked with the airplane prices, they were ridiculous. I mean, like real high,” said Gwenn Howell.
“You have to prepare. Instead of just jumping up out the blue, you just have to prepare,” said Richard Bell.
As for Guragai, he’s running out of options, “We have to wait for another flight on another day, probably Monday.”
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