July 25, 2024

CPS

Travel Adventure

Hundreds of flights canceled, delayed amid July 4 travel

2 min read

Severe weather swept through New York City on Sunday afternoon, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations, and leaving hundreds of travelers stranded.

Long lines snaked through LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal A as frustrated passengers, glued to their phones, scrambled to find alternate flights.

“Now our flight’s canceled and they won’t even, how you say, voucher us,” said Wesley Salazar, hoping to return home to Houston. “You know, bus tickets, hotels, or anything. So now we’re trying to budget and figure out what we’re going to do.”


What You Need To Know

  • Thunderstorms led to ground stops at all three major area airports
  • About 350 flights were canceled, over 700 delayed on Sunday as the July 4th holiday travel period is getting underway
  • Because weather caused the cancellations, travelers were mostly on their own getting rebooked and paying for hotel rooms

Kyle Blankenship and his son Jonathan, en route to Charlotte, learned their flight was canceled while heading to the airport.

“Apparently we need to get a refund or reschedule for tomorrow,” said Blankenship. “I asked, ‘Well what about what about the opportunity for just another airline because some of the other airlines are still flying to Charlotte?’ But you know I couldn’t get a clear answer on that.”

The confusion unfolded during what AAA predicted would be a record-breaking Fourth of July travel period. According to AAA, from June 29 to July 7, more than 70 million Americans are expected to travel, marking a 5% increase from 2023 and an 8% increase from 2019.

Of those, over 60 million are anticipated to travel by car, nearly 5% more than last year and 10% above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, 5.7 million are projected to fly, a 7% increase from last year and 12% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The surge in travel compounded the challenges for many stranded travelers at LaGuardia.

“Our flight was supposed to be at 3, so I’ve been here since probably 1. And it’s just been delayed, delayed, delayed,” said Kaylee Werner. “So, I know it’s out of their control, like the weather is the weather and it’s not good. But trying to get on another flight, and they finally just canceled it now, so I’m trying to figure out what I can do.”

The stormy weather caused 350 flight cancellations across all three New York City area airports, with more than 700 flights delayed due to ground stops. Passengers affected by weather-related cancellations were left to navigate rebooking and cover the costs of accommodations independently.

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