Airlines canceled more than 3,500 US flights this weekend and delayed thousands more, citing weather-related issues in Florida and airspace congestion, according to AP News.
On Saturday morning, storms in Florida caused widespread cancelations and delays at several Florida airports (including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando), along with ones in Baltimore and New York, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
"Severe weather in the Southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs have created significant impacts on the industry," a JetBlue spokesperson told AP News in an email.
"Today's cancellations will help us reset our operation and safely move our crews and aircraft back in to position," the spokesperson continued.
Southwest Airlines said "weather and airspace congestion" in Florida resulted in more than 1,000 canceled flights over the weekend. The airline noted that "technology issues" were also a factor but didn't expand on those problems.
We are experiencing flight disruptions across our network today due to briefly pausing our service earlier this morning as we worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue, as well as ongoing weather challenges impacting multiple areas within our system. (1/2)— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) April 2, 2022
In a separate issue, Alaska Airlines canceled flights after a pilot shortage emerged as pilots striked at major West Coast airports. These pilots demanded more pay and more flexible schedules.
"Alaska Airlines failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take the steps necessary to ensure it attracted and retained pilots," the pilots union said on Friday.
The flight woes come as travel demand surges despite increasing ticket prices due to soaring jet fuel costs. It also comes during the busy spring break travel season.
Air travelers were furious this weekend, some told Southwest, "Unbelievable!! Canceled our flights again!! Looks like we need to start using another airline."
"I hope you are compensating your customers for their rental cars, hotels, and re-bookings on other airlines. The last time this happened, you blamed it on weather because that way you're not responsible for any re-booking costs. I'm sure you're doing the same thing now," another traveler told Southwest.
The good news is that FlightAware data on Monday morning shows the weekend mayhem of flight cancelations has abated.