Flight cancellations, lack of rental cars among travel troubles ahead of holiday

Transportation

WARWICK R.I. (WPRI) — AAA expects more than 47 million Americans will travel for the Fourth of July, with about 3.5 million flying to their destination.

Warwick’s T.F. Green Airport was already buzzing with activity on Thursday.

“Dropping my kids off so they can visit my dad for the next couple of weeks for the start of summer” Jean Dean said, adding that her family hasn’t flown since before the pandemic started.

But some travelers ran into problems, like Elaine Tetreault, who told 12 News her flight back to Houston was canceled Thursday morning.

“It’s frustrating,” she said. “But in this day and age, it’s to be expected, I think, but certainly not any more pleasant.”

As more people get comfortable with flying again, airlines have recently been dealing with complications like labor shortages and bad weather, which have caused delays and cancellations.

“Storms are common this time of year, and that does impact airline flight schedules,” T.F. Green spokesman John Goodman explained.

In an email to 12 News, Southwest Airlines spokesman Dan Landson said, “Over the last several days, we’ve been working through challenges associated with summer storms which continue to impact some of our busiest.”

T.F. Green and other airports around the country are currently seeing “post-pandemic highs” right now, according to Goodman.

“We expect that national travel will be over two million travelers for each day of the weekend again,” Goodman said, comparing this weekend to Memorial Day and other high-volume travel times.

“People are feeling safe traveling and we encourage them to do so,” he added.

Goodman advised anyone who plans to fly to call ahead or use an app to check on the status of your flight before heading to the airport.

“That can actually give you an overview of how many flights are coming in, whether there’s any delays or cancellations,” he said.

As more people get out and travel, some have also run into rental car issues. One man told 12 News he booked a rental two months in advance, but when his flight landed, the company didn’t have a car for him.

For people planning to hit the road for the holiday, AAA said to expect heavy traffic, make sure your vehicle is ready for the road, and be aware of any travel restrictions in place.

The agency also issued a reminder that masks are required on all public transportation, regardless of vaccination status.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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