Air travel has seen an increase in 2022 from previous years, nearing 2019 travel numbers. The increase in air travel is expected to test airlines' and passengers' patience this Fourth of July weekend.
“Today, everything is more congested than I expected,” Traveler Kathy Huynh said.
According to AAA, millions of Southern Californians will be traveling the holiday weekend along with millions of Americans from around the country.
“The auto club is projecting that this is going to be the third busiest fourth of July travel volume on record behind 2019 and 2018. From today (Thursday) through Monday, we are expecting 3.3 million southern Californians to take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home,” AAA Spokesperson Doug Shupe said.
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The surge in travel comes as airlines are working to maintain their schedules.
According to Flight Aware, there have been over 4,000 delays into or within the U.S. on Thursday and over 400 cancellations.
Airlines like Delta and JetBlue have trimmed their schedules heading into the summer travel season largely due to staffing issues.
In a statement to NBC7 Delta Airlines said: “Delta people are working around the clock to rebuild Delta’s operation while making it as resilient as possible to minimize the ripple effect of disruptions. Even so, some operational challenges are expected this holiday weekend.”
Despite the mounting delays and cancellations, travelers NBC 7 spoke with are excited to be able to travel on the holiday weekend.
“We haven’t seen our family in Canada for a couple of years, so we are looking forward to it,” Ernesto Aguilar said.
Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport is undergoing construction, so airport officials are urging people to plan ahead when traveling to the airport.
“At the San Diego International Airport, we are under construction. There is a lot of traffic, so we encourage people to arrive early," San Diego International Airport Sr. Communications Specialist Nicole Hall said. "We have seen an uptick in passenger travel in the last weekend we had about 80,000 people coming and going through the airport, and we anticipate continuing to see that through the holiday weekend more passengers coming through the airport."