Thousands of Flights Delayed and Canceled as Travel Chaos Grips US Airports Amidst Independence Day Extreme Weather

On the eve of Independence Day, travel disruptions are causing chaos in US airports, with extreme weather warnings affecting over 100 million Americans. According to FlightAware, more than 3,000 flights within, into, or out of the US were either delayed or canceled on Monday. Transportation Security Administration data revealed that Sunday witnessed the highest number of passengers ever recorded in US airports. While a heatwave persists in the south and west, storms pose a threat to the eastern US.

United Airlines was the most heavily impacted carrier, with over 300 flights postponed on Monday and a total of 5,000 delays and cancellations in the past week. United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, described the situation as one of the most challenging in his career. The airline has offered compensation of 30,000 frequent flier miles to affected customers. Despite efforts to alleviate the situation, one family from Atlanta endured being stranded in three different airports for five days.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg attributed the travel chaos to severe weather, which he said had placed immense pressure on the system. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to hire 1,500 new air traffic controllers this year and an additional 1,800 next year. Concerns regarding potential flight disruptions related to the 5G rollout around airports were unfounded, according to the Department of Transportation.

Thunderstorms, including some with large hail, were forecasted for Monday across several eastern states, while the heatwave in the south persisted, and record-breaking temperatures were anticipated along the west coast. Over 150,000 residents in the US Midwest remained without power due to storms over the weekend, with Missouri alone accounting for over 40,000 outages.