Canceled flights make for messy Memorial Day travel

The 2022 Memorial Day weekend will likely go down as the busiest stretch of travel at airports across the country in more than two years. But it’s also been one of the messiest for travelers, mostly aboard Delta flights.

In four days, the airline canceled about as many flights as it did in the entire summer of 2019; Thrifty Traveler Editor-In-Chief Kyle Potter says there were warning signs going into the weekend.

Potter believes the airline is stretched too thin after downsizing during the pandemic, calling their current situation a struggle to find staff to get planes off the ground, "When there’s a storm, when there are air traffic control issues, when there are employees calling out sick due to COVID-19 infections, they just can’t keep up," Potter explained.

Michael Kellogg saw it firsthand on Monday morning when his Delta flight back home to Los Angeles was canceled and rescheduled to Tuesday. Luckily, he was able to find a different flight to make it home on Monday.

"Given that I was able to reschedule for today I feel slightly inconvenienced, but not really put out like they owe me anything," Kellogg said. 

When a flight is canceled, the traveler is always entitled to a full cash refund.

"Hope for the best but prepare for the worst, because the issues are not getting solved and they’re certainly not going to get solved by the end of this summer," Potter said. "If anything I assumed they probably going to get a little bit worse."

Last week, Delta announced it will cut 100 flights per day this summer, in an effort to better manage its operations.