Delta flight cancellations cause trouble for holiday travelers

More than 1,000 Delta flights were disrupted across the country over the Memorial Day weekend.

At MSP Airport, Lisa Harris and Kathleen Stuck both flew home with Delta, without any trouble on Sunday. But the situation has many others upset, and Thrifty Traveler says Delta is largely responsible, because of severe pilot staffing issues.

Delta blames the mess on a combination of things: weather, air traffic control, staffing and COVID-19.

"More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation – weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID-19 case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some workgroups – are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years," Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband wrote. "We deeply appreciate the energy and efforts of our people and the confidence of our customers as we adapt and pivot to ensure we provide the airline-of-choice experience we're so proud to be known for."

Some travel forecasts predicted travel numbers this weekend to match those before the pandemic. But the airlines downsized to survive the pandemic, and now they’re stretched too thin and struggling to keep up.

"I’m sure they are short-staffed," Stuck said on Sunday. "All the flights were booked yesterday, all of the flights are booked today until 9 p.m."

"I don’t like it, I think we paid too much money to be treated that way," Harris finished. "I think the people that work in the airport are overworked, underappreciated."