Hundreds of Flights Canceled as Airlines Spark 4th of July Travel Chaos

All across the world, airports are being thrown into chaos by staff shortages, flight cancellations, delays and strikes, and the U.S. is no exception —even as many Americans are looking forward to traveling over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Nearly 2,000 flights have been canceled on Thursday across the world, over 330 of which were flights within, into and out of the U.S. alone.

As of publication time on Thursday (June 30), over 1,900 flights have been canceled, according to FlightAware, the world's largest flight tracking data company. The total number of delays was a staggering 10,258 as of publication time, with 569 involving flights within, into and out of the U.S.

Two American companies —American Airlines and Delta— were among the 10 airlines with the highest numbers of canceled and delayed flights in the world, a list topped by two Chinese companies, China Eastern and Shenzhen Airlines.

American Airlines came third, with 109 flights canceled and 65 delayed, while Delta fared better and ranked sixth after Canada's Jazz and Dutch airline KLM, with 63 flights canceled and 85 delayed.

FlightAware also publishes a "Misery Map", which highlights the number of cancellations and delays at major airports in the U.S.

According to the map, as of publication time, the airports currently suffering the greatest numbers of flight cancellations and delays are JFK in New York (14 cancellations, 7 delays), Boston's Logan International Airport (16 cancellations and 4 delays) and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (9 cancellations and 9 delays).

On Wednesday, June 29, flight cancellations worldwide reached a total of 2,470, with 639 of them within, into or out of the U.S.

These flight disruptions, which have been plaguing the air travel industry for over a month, will certainly cause problems for many Americans' travel plans for the upcoming July 4th holiday.

During Memorial Day weekend in May, thousands of flights were canceled in the U.S., with Delta having the majority of those cancellations.

The Atlanta-based airline, which had previously blamed the problems on staff calling in sick after catching COVID-19, announced in early June that it planned to cancel 100 flights a day from July 1- August 7 in an attempt to avoid travel disruptions.

Since the Memorial Day holiday, U.S. airlines canceled more than 21,000 flights, about 2.7 percent of the scheduled total, according to FlightAware.

During the weekend between June 17 and 19 alone, some 14,000 flights within, out of or into the U.S. were canceled or delayed.

These disruptions are clashing with a boom in travel demand, as people are eager to travel after two years of pandemic restrictions. During the July 4th weekend, travel is expected to peak at its highest since before the pandemic.

Flight cancellations American Airlines
As of publication time on June 30, nearly 2,000 flights have already been cancelled. In this photo, American Airlines planes sit at gates at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, on June 26, 2022. DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images