After an evening of widespread delays and cancellations at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, travel eased a bit on Saturday.
As of 2 p.m. Saturday, 7% of flights departing from the airport were canceled and a further 9% delayed, according to the flight tracking website. FlightAware. The 40 flights canceled at Newark were the worst among US airports, although disruptions were an issue across the United States at the start of the July 4 weekend.
On Friday, two-thirds of flights to and from New York airports were delayed or canceled around 8 p.m., according to FlightAware”map of misery.” Newark had 88 delays and 20 cancellations at the time, second only to New York’s LaGuardia in flight issues.
Air travel has been chaotic this year, with passenger numbers rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, even as airlines grapple with staff shortages and rising fuel costs. Worldwide, FlightAware recorded more than 33,000 cancellations or delays on Friday and more than 19,000 today.
Starting July 1, United Airlines, Newark’s main carrier, cut 50 domestic flights of his schedule at the airport. The cuts, representing around 12% of United’s local flights, were aimed at improving schedules after staff shortages caused a chaotic June 16 weekend that saw thousands of flights canceled worldwide.
Canceling flights “improves our on-time performance,” United communications chief David Gonzalez said last month. “This is our attempt to help our operation adapt to the challenges in Newark.”
From Friday to Saturday, United’s Twitter feed was full of complaints from disgruntled passengers across the country. “Our systems are experiencing high volumes,” the airline tweeted to a passenger.
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Executives from United and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Newark Airport, were unavailable for comment on Saturday. But on Friday, both organizations tweeted that they were experiencing high volumes.”
Newark Airport’s Twitter feed also cited weather delays, and the Port Authority also urged travelers to pre-book parking at its New York airports. “With a significant increase in the number of travelers flying during the summer season and more and more customers driving private vehicles at the airport, the demand for airport parking has increased significantly, placing immense pressure on the parking facilities of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” the agency said in a statement.
Those whose flights are canceled and do not rebook are entitled to a full refund, although this may involve waiting for some time.