Memorial Day weekend travel tests airports ahead of busy travel season

WASHINGTON DC — Hartsfield Jackon Airport is just one of the many airports millions of travelers used over the weekend to get to their Memorial Day destinations.

Now, officials are waiting to see how the industry responded.

The TSA said more than 12 million people were screened over the Memorial Day Weekend, starting on Thursday.

That’s above the pre-pandemic levels by 180,000 passengers and kept the airlines busy.

The official start of the summer travel season now here.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said airline cancelations over the weekend were below 1%.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Airline officials believe that’s because of the hiring blitz that’s been taking place over the last year.

Some airlines have added tens of thousands of employees to meet the demand and passengers have noticed.

Last Memorial Day weekend, the airlines canceled 2,700 flights.

That began a summer of cancellations with 55,000 total for the season.

But still, there are lingering questions about a shortage of air traffic controllers at airports nationwide.

The FAA is working to hire about 300 controllers at towers across the country.


Travel experts say the industry showed this weekend, that it’s headed in the right direction.

“I think we could say without reservation that airlines have passed the test. I’m hopeful that means we’re going to have a pretty good summer when it comes to flying,” Scott Keyes of Going.com said.

They also say we still have a long way to go.

The height of the airline problems came last year in the month of June.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]