Jun 30, 2022 - News

Delta preparing for a nasty Fourth of July

Travelers line up at an airport.

Travelers can expect delays, cancellations and generally messy travel this Independence Day weekend. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Delta Airlines, one of the largest airlines operating through Logan Airport, is warning customers to expect travel disruptions over the July 4 weekend, and is making it easier to rebook their flights should they encounter delays or cancellations.

Why it matters: Boston is a major Independence Day travel destination, and nearly 48 million Americans will travel to celebrate the holiday this year — up 3.7% from last year, according to AAA.

Driving the news: Delta announced this week that it will waive rebooking fees and won't charge customers fare differences for flights scheduled between July 1 and 4, as long as the departure and arrival cities are the same.

  • The airline wrote in a news post that "operational challenges are expected this holiday weekend."
  • The airline expects pre-pandemic customer volumes at a time when all major carriers are dealing with staff shortages and limited schedules.
  • Delta typically waives rebooking fees only when it expects widespread cancellations within a limited geographical area during a major weather event.

Meanwhile: Sen. Ed Markey, as a member of the Senate committee covering transportation, sent letters to the top 10 U.S. air carriers urging them to address flight cancellations and prioritize customers before the holiday weekend.

What they're saying: "During the first four months of 2022, the airlines canceled 3.5% of flights and delayed another 20% of flights, far above similar figures before the COVID-19 pandemic," Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a press release Wednesday.

  • The senators say that 40% of the delays in the first four months of 2022 have been within the airlines' control.
  • Markey and Blumenthal say the airlines are wrongly blaming traffic control issues and weather for the delays.

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