DALLAS — The number of U.S. flights being canceled is slowing down, but plenty of travelers are facing long delays as they try to get home from trips over the July Fourth holiday weekend.
By late Monday afternoon on the East Coast, more than 2,200 U.S. flights had been delayed and more than 200 were canceled, according to FlightAware.
The good news is, that’s fewer delays and cancellations than we’ve seen in recent days. Nearly 17,000 flights were delayed and more than 14,000 were canceled.
Industry experts say airlines are struggling because demand for travel has recovered from the bottom of the pandemic faster than anyone expected. That’s causing airports to be almost as crowded as they were in 2019, before the pandemic.
At the height of the pandemic, the airline industry received a $54 billion bailout.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is calling on airlines to do better.
“The bottom line is they need to deliver,” Buttigieg said. “We sent a lot of taxpayer funding, specifically for the purpose of keeping people employed at these airlines. And now, they need to have the people and they need to have the resources, to get people where they need to go.”
RELATED: Redmond Airport mostly avoids delays
Travel experts say passengers do have rights when the airlines don’t deliver.
“Your rights in the United States are you get a full cash refund if your flight is delayed more than four hours or cancelled, so do not allow the airlines to give you a voucher. Get the cash,” said Brian Kelly, founder of “The Points Guy.”
Last week at Redmond Municipal Airport, Central Oregon Daily News was there when a passenger learned his London flight was canceled. Watch the video below.