Friday 1 July 2022 03:06 PM Delta CEO apologizes for 'unacceptable' cancelations amid hectic Fourth of July ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 03:06 PM Delta CEO apologizes for 'unacceptable' cancelations amid hectic Fourth of July ... trends now
Friday 1 July 2022 03:06 PM Delta CEO apologizes for 'unacceptable' cancelations amid hectic Fourth of July ... trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 03:06 PM Delta CEO apologizes for 'unacceptable' cancelations amid hectic Fourth of July ... trends now

The CEO of Delta Airlines has issued an apology for 'unacceptable' flight cancelations as some customers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were offered $10,000 for being bumped off as the nation braces for its busiest travel weekend since the pandemic. 

Delta head Ed Bastian told customers that the airline would be adding extra boarding times, improving crew scheduling and bringing on workers after canceling 49 flights and delay 142 so far on Friday. 

'We've spent years establishing Delta as the industry leader in reliability, and though the majority of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable,' Bastian wrote in a letter to frequent flyer clients. 

'Things won't change overnight, but we're on a path towards a steady recovery.' 

The apology comes as airlines grip with the hectic Fourth of July weekend travel, with 236 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. already cancelled on Friday morning, and 971 flights delayed. 

In addition to airport chaos and heavy traffic, holiday travelers will have to contend with higher prices. Average gas prices have soared 56 percent from a year ago, mid-range hotel prices have increased 23 percent, and average lowest airfares are up 14 percent. 

In total, AAA projects that 47.9 million Americans will travel for the Fourth this year, up 3.7 percent from last year and close to the historic peak reached in 2019, before the pandemic struck. 

Delta CEO Ed Bastian (pictured on June 1) issued an apology to customers regarding the spate of delays and cancellations from the airline amid the chaotic Fourth of July travel

Delta CEO Ed Bastian (pictured on June 1) issued an apology to customers regarding the spate of delays and cancellations from the airline amid the chaotic Fourth of July travel

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Aiport: Passengers wait in line for security

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Aiport: Passengers wait in line for security 

Passengers at the Delta terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Passengers at the Delta terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

General view or travelers in JFK Terminal 4 in New York. KLM airlines is seen with long lines as people wait to check in

General view or travelers in JFK Terminal 4 in New York. KLM airlines is seen with long lines as people wait to check in

According to flight aware, major airports New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas are seeing the most delays and cancellations on Friday

According to flight aware, major airports New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas are seeing the most delays and cancellations on Friday

Drivers sit in slow moving traffic leaving Boston at the start of the long Fourth of July holiday weekend

Drivers sit in slow moving traffic leaving Boston at the start of the long Fourth of July holiday weekend

Fourth Of July travel by the numbers 

Here's how the travel projections for this holiday weekend stack up against last year, according to AAA: 

 2021 (actual)

Average gas price: $3.12 Drivers on the road: 41.8M Air travelers: 3.5M Others taking trips (bus, train): 900K Total travelers: 46.2M Average airfare: $176 Average hotel cost: $198 Average car rental cost: $166

 2022 (forecast)

Average gas price: $4.86 Drivers on the road: 42M Air travelers: 3.55M Others taking trips (bus, train): 2.42M Total travelers: 47.9M Average airfare: $201 Average hotel cost: $244 Average car rental cost: $110

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Leading in cancellations so far was Delta Airlines, which has also delayed 142 flights, and the airline is reportedly compensating customers with large sums of money in a flight from Grand Rapids to Minneapolis. 

The flight, set to depart from the Gerald R. Ford Airport on Monday, was oversold, and customers were informed that the airline would be offering up to $10,000 to anyone who exited the flight and chose to fly at a later date, KTVB reported. 

Jason Aten, a tech columnists, tweeted about the deal, telling the local outlet that he was travelling with a group of six who all rejected the payout in favor of flying on time. 

Todd McCrumb, of Boise, Idaho, said he, too, was offered the huge sum. 

'It's a true story,' McCrumb wrote on Twitter. 'I was on that flight! 

'Unfortunately, I could not take advance the offer, as I was flying with my wife who has very limited eyesight. She has to have me nearby when traveling.' 

McCrumb told KTVB that he was traveling to West Michigan for a high school graduation ceremony, and that he and other passengers thought the offer was a joke. 

He added that he did see several people accept the offer, but he was unsure about how much they really did receive. 

One woman with the handle Marie wrote on Aten's thread that she took the payout, but rather than the $10,000, she and another passenger she was traveling with got $1,000 each. 

'We just took a Delta bump from a 10:00am flight to 6:00 pm flight for $1,000 each,' she wrote. 'I thought that was amazing…maybe we should have held out longer.'

Delta did not confirm whether or not passengers were given thousands of dollars to be bumped off the flight, but noted that the airline's gate agents have the power to do 'whatever is necessary' to get flights out on time. 

Delta customers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said the were offered thousands to get off a flight that had been overbooked for Minneapolis

Delta customers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said the were offered thousands to get off a flight that had been overbooked for Minneapolis 

In the week leading up to the Fourth, the number of air travelers has almost returned to 2019 levels, TSA data show

In the week leading up to the Fourth, the number of air travelers has almost returned to 2019 levels, TSA data show

Travel through Delta is likely to be further complicated after its pilots started picketing on Thursday at several major airports including LAX, JFK and Atlanta, demanding better contracts as crews are allegedly overworked during the holiday rush. 

While Delta pilots are on strike, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said on Thursday that its pilots were getting a 17 percent raise, CNBC reported. 

The proposal includes an initial 6 percent raise at signing for about 15,000 pilots, with a 5 percent raise at the star of 2023, and then another in 2024. 

The deal comes less than a week after United Airlines and its pilot's union reached an agreement to raise wages by 14 percent within 18 months. 

United's pilot's union said it hold a special meeting next week to evaluate the airlines offer and see how it stacks with American's offer. 

'We will not rush to a decision and will work as a unified body to find the best course of action for the entire pilot group,' the United union said in a statement.

Travel through Delta is likely to be further complicated after its pilots started picketing on Thursday at several major airports including LAX, JFK and Atlanta

Travel through Delta is likely to be further complicated after its pilots started picketing on Thursday at several major airports including LAX, JFK and Atlanta

Pilots have a long and arduous process toward any strike action so many are protesting and walking picket lines on days off

Pilots have a long and arduous process toward any strike action so many are protesting and walking picket lines on days off

The unions' battles come after a recent Air Travel Consumer report from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that there were

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