CHICAGO (NewsNation) — This past July 4 holiday travel season was expected to be one of the worst in history, as the combination of flight cancellations, high gas prices and the nearly 48 million Americans projected to travel were set for a collision course.
Such, however, wasn’t the case.
More than 9 million flyers flocked to U.S. airports from Thursday through Sunday, peaking at 2.49 million, a pandemic-era record, Friday, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration.
By late Monday afternoon on the East Coast, more than 2,200 U.S. flights had been delayed and more than 200 canceled, according to FlightAware. Bad — but still a sharp decline from the deluge of delays and cancellations in recent weeks.
NewsNation talked to an expert who says travelers shouldn’t necessarily conclude that the worst is over.
“I’m worried it’s not,” said Clint Henderson from “The Points Guy,” He joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Tuesday to discuss the trends he saw over the weekend.
Henderson noted that while the numbers appear good — “only” about 1.8% of scheduled flights were canceled — they’re still more than what is typically seen.
“I was very hopeful during Christmas that the airlines would be able to stabilize during the peak summer period. That has not been the case. They are hiring. In their defense … they’re trying to get folks through the pipeline. It takes a long time to get people trained … it doesn’t happen overnight.
“A lot of analysts that we talk to at The Points Guy think it’s not going to get back to business as normal until sometime in 2023,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.