As flight cancellations soared ahead of what was expected to be the busiest Memorial Day weekend for travel in two years, a hard-hit Delta Airlines employee embarked on what looked like to a difficult exchange with a customer on Twitter.
“Waiting for Daisy at @Delta to work things out?!?! What’s going on??? @delta??” tweeted Twitter user @ocarroll51 Friday night.
By CBS News, more than 1,200 US flights were canceled on Saturday afternoon. Delta had the worst performance in this regard among US airlines, with about 9% of its operations (more than 240 flights) cut for the day. Additionally, Delta’s largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is going through a particularly tough time, it seems. Five percent of all Delta flights there were canceled, and 7% were delayed.
Memorial Day weekend flight cancellations
The Delta employee on Twitter, meanwhile, was apparently in no mood to be lenient with the frustrated customer, as you can see in the exchange below:
After being implored by the Delta employee to “calm down,” the Twitter user continued, “Calm down? On hold for over two hours, Daisy. Really try.
The Delta employee replied, “Thank you, much appreciated.”
The frustrations on both sides are certainly understandable. Because, according to the media, more than 3,500 Memorial Day weekend flight cancellations have accumulated so far.
It’s especially frustrating for travelers, because despite the explosion in flight cancellations over the weekend, it’s not like the industry is unaware that Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel days in the year. Surely he can plan this?
Nevertheless, here we are. In a statement to The partners’ pressDelta blamed Saturday’s cancellations on bad weather and “air traffic control actions.”
“Over the past few months,” notes Delta’s website, “we’ve made a number of adjustments to minimize disruption and bounce back faster when issues arise. And that is why we will be taking additional steps in the days and weeks ahead to strategically reduce our flight schedule this summer.
“From July 1 to August. 7, we will reduce service by approximately 100 daily departures, primarily to the United States and Latin American markets that Delta frequently serves. This will strengthen the resilience of our system and improve operational reliability for our customers and employees; we will continue to proactively adjust some flights in the coming weeks.
Canceled Memorial Day flights aren’t the only problem
As if travelers didn’t have enough to worry about, cancellations aren’t even the only problem.
Part of that is because, remember, airlines laid off tons of workers during the pandemic. So staffing is a problem – made all the more so when workers get sick, from Covid or something else.
There is also the clash of stickers for flyers.
CBS News notes that domestic airline fares this summer are averaging more than $400 for a round-trip flight. That’s 24% more expensive than this time in 2019. But it’s even worse comparing it to last year, when the same flight cost 45% less, according to travel data firm Hopper.
Bottom line: The experience of flying in friendly skies continues to be less and less, well, friendly for many travelers.