Severe weather, staffing issues cause Memorial Day weekend flight cancellations, delays
There were a lot of headaches this Memorial Day weekend at airports nationwide as airlines canceled or delayed hundreds of flights because of weather or crew problems.
On the roads, high gas prices took their toll on drivers. It was a one-two punch that marked this first holiday weekend heading into summer a little challenging for those who were trying to get around.
Drivers who filled up at the pump saw numbers spinning up higher and higher.
According to AAA, regular unleaded was a couple cents lower Sunday at $4.95 per gallon than the all-time high on Monday.
Last month it was $4.25 a gallon.
A year ago, it was $3.07.
The price to fill up now forced some to re-think road trips, but not so much with others.
"Unfortunately, I don't have the option to drive less, so I am driving the same amount," said Matthew Kirchblum, of Jericho.
Experts said holiday stop-and-go traffic can take a toll on gas mileage.
AAA recommends, to avoid traffic on Monday, it's best to get on the road before 11 a.m., with the worst time being between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
At airports across the nation and here in New York, some travelers were fuming after flight cancellations and delays.
Experts said there could be more delays or cancellations on Memorial Day Monday as the airline industry recovers from severe weather and crew shortages.
Delta and other airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights Sunday and a lot of others faced delays. The airlines blamed bad weather and crew scheduling problems as the culprit, and travel agents said it couldn't have come at a worse time.
"It's one of our busiest travel weeks that we've had in almost two years," said Matthew Kondrup, with Matty K Travel Group.
Kondrup said this weekend's full flights, industry-wide staffing problems and severe weather turned Memorial Day air travel into the perfect storm.
Travel agents say if you're flying Monday to monitor your itinerary carefully as some airlines are canceling flights up to a day before take-off.
"The No. 1 thing I say is pack your patience, keep an eye on your smartphone and the app keep up to date with the flight and weather and delays - leave plenty of time," said Kondrup.
Experts said also to pack one's patience possibly for the rest of the summer.
As for the gas prices, New York state, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties, will reduce gas taxes next month, which could lower prices about 25 cents a gallon.