The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to blame for the huge number of flight cancellations and delays that have disrupted air travel this week, according to United CEO Scott Kirby.
“The FAA frankly failed us this weekend,” Kirby wrote in a memo to employees obtained byTravel + Leisure. “We estimate that over 150,000 customers on United alone were impacted this weekend because of FAA staffing issues and their ability to manage traffic.”
According to data from FlightAware, the widespread disruptions have impacted more than 1,700 flights this week.
For the period June 25, 2023, through June 29, 2023, United Airlines has issued an “East Coast Severe Weather” travel warning that allows travelers from a few airports to rebook and change their travel arrangements without incurring any fees. The FAA or air traffic control staffing are not included in the travel advisory.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Kirby said, “The biggest issue with us is Air Traffic Control.” Kirby has been outspoken about the problems the airline has with the FAA and air traffic control. We experience air traffic control delays every morning.
On social media, the FAA posted many messages to travelers blaming the weather for the delays.
“Storms are popping up now in the Northeast, we’ve got your back! Our air traffic controllers and weather pros are routing flights around the storms. For some, flights may be delayed so that you don’t arrive when the thunderstorm hits,” the official FAA News account shared in a tweet.
The FAA has published a summer travel guide that provides passengers with advice on how to pack properly and how best to handle foreign travel when planning a trip next week, as the Fourth of July is soon upon us.