ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Many Americans are boarding planes for the first time in more than a year and the sudden increase in travel is overwhelming airlines.
Both severe weather and staffing shortages have caused hundreds of flight cancellations over the past few days.
American Airlines, for instance, delayed more than 1,000 flights Monday and nearly 500 Tuesday.
“A year ago, we were flying, and we were canceling flights because we didn’t have enough passengers,” said Capt. Dennis Tajer with the Allied Pilots Association. “It’s hard to believe that a year later we’re canceling flights because we don’t have enough pilots.”
The airline says it plans to cancel about 80 more flights per day through mid-march as a result.
“What’s the holdup? They can’t fit them into the training schedule, and when they do it takes another pilot out of that training schedule,” Tajer said.
Delta Airlines on Tuesday announced a massive hiring push.
“As we shift gears toward recovery, we know we need reinforcements to help us serve our customers this summer,” said Joanne Smith, Delta’s executive vice president, in a statement. “We’re excited to add more talented professionals to the Delta family.”
NewsNation spoke with travel journalist Peter Greenberg about the travel challenges. See the interview in the player below.