It’s been an inauspicious start to the summer travel season.
Some severe weather, including thunderstorms, along with staffing shortages at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), have already caused widespread flight cancellations including close to 8,000 delays and 3,000 cancellations in the U.S. each day this week.
The travel nightmare isn’t expected to end, either. It could possibly get worse just as the July 4 travel weekend, which is expected to feature record crowds, is ready to start.
Aside from the staffing shortages at the FAA, there’s also the potential for interruptions due to wildfire smoke from Canada returning to the Northeast on Thursday, an issue that caused ground stops and delays for two airports earlier this month.
In light of all that, United Airlines, which called out the FAA for its role in the widespread cancellations this week and this past weekend, extended its East Coast Severe travel waiver through the end of this week.
United’s waiver now allows those traveling through June 30, who purchased their original ticket on or before June 24 to change their ticket through July 3. The waiver includes flights from and to Boston Logan Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Newark Liberty, White Planes, JFK International, LaGuardia, and Philadelphia International Airport.
Just one other major airline issued a weather waiver for the Northeast this week--Delta Air Lines released its own waiver for New York City airports, Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia. However, that has expired.