Airline passengers feel comfortable on the busiest travel day of the year

Tuesday was expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving holiday day with more than 48,000 flights taking off across the country.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — Thousands of people boarded planes across the country on Tuesday in the busiest travel day before and after Thanksgiving, the Federal Aviation Administration said, with 48,082 scheduled flights.

Thanksgiving was the top holiday travel weekend for the second year in a row, after Presidents Day in 2020 and Independence Day in 2019. Airlines are gearing up for this holiday season after an oft-scorched summer by delays and cancellations due to staffing shortages.

“There were some delays, especially for me during the summer. I think I took 10 flights,” said Aidan Shaw, a student at the Coast Guard Academy in New London. “I think two flights were delayed and one canceled. It was a lot. But I think it’s better now.

Delta Air Lines told FOX61 in a statement that they have focused on hiring and training in recent months, increased boarding time, added buffer time in crew schedules and adjusted schedules. of the airline to “ensure a reliable vacation travel experience”.

“Delta has taken significant and significant steps over the past few months to stabilize the operation and provide our customers with the premium experience they expect,” a spokesperson said. “In the months leading up to Thanksgiving – September, October and November to date – Delta has flown over 99% of scheduled flights.”

Southwest Airlines has also increased its workforce by nearly 16,000 this year. They operate nearly 3,900 daily flights on peak days.

Travelers at Windsor Locks Bradley International Airport on Tuesday noticed the smooth flow of flights.

“We had no delays. Everything was on time. It worked well. I was surprised, to say the least,” Thomas Hughes, flying from Austin, sai

Families are looking forward to reconnecting and celebrating the holidays with their loved ones. Shaw, on a trip to Seattle, says he’s thrilled to be with his family.

“I look forward to spending time with my dad talking about each other’s stories. How we are,” he said. “I look forward to spending time with my family. I haven’t seen them for a few months and I’m going skating, I’m going to have fun.

Hughes can’t wait to see her 5-month-old granddaughter, saying it’s nice to be together. The holiday season is also a time when students go home for a short time, like Dominique Smith, a freshman at Mount Holyoke College just outside Springfield.

“Seeing my mom and dad and all my friends, and just sharing all the stories we’ve had since we all went to college and came back, it’ll be really fun to see them again and just catch up.” , she said before. aboard his flight to Miami.

Even though travel has smoothed out, Smith remains cautious about possible delays or cancellations.

“That’s why I leave the house a little early to catch the rush, of course, but other than that we just have to pray,” she said.

Alisa Sisic of the Connecticut Airport Authority recommends people arrive at least an hour and a half before takeoff, especially if they need help at the counter. She says 90,000 people flew or left the airport from last week to Sunday, which is higher than in 2020 but still below pre-pandemic levels.

“We have worked closely with our airline partners and other stakeholders to prepare for the busy holiday season,” she said. “I think there’s been a lot of opportunity since the summer for us to see what improvements can be made and naturally the airlines have also been looking and adjusting schedules, hiring more people.”

The FAA says there are plenty of flights on the East Coast as well as popular cities like Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Seattle and Dallas. The administration expects the next busiest travel day to be Sunday with 46,790 people taking off as they return home. That’s compared to 23,626 on Thursday.

“Everything was smooth. It was really smooth. I have no problem coming back,” said Colin Carson, who traveled from Indianapolis to visit his daughter. “We talk to each other all the time, but it’s not the same thing.”

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