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Travellers wait for baggage at the airport. Right: Travellers stand in line at the airport.

Travellers wait for baggage at the airport. Right: Travellers stand in line at the airport.

What do you get when you combine airport delays, the summer travel season and a long weekend in both the U.S. and Canada?

In a word? Stress.

Hundreds of flights are being delayed each day as the summer travel season heats up and airlines struggle to keep up, public data shows. And not all airlines are handling it the same way.

More than 13,000 flights were delayed as of Thursday morning alone, while another 2,000-plus had been cancelled, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware. Those are the global numbers, and they include more than 370 cancellations and over 1,000 delays related to the U.S.

Another 952 flights have already been cancelled for Friday, although those numbers are expected to shoot up as things ramp up for the weekend.

According to the data, American Airlines recorded the most cancellations of any Western airline on Thursday morning, with 111 cancellations and over 100 delays. Put another way, 6% of American Airlines flights were either cancelled or delayed.

But while American Airlines might have the highest numbers, its fleet is still doing a lot better than a few of the budget airlines.

Air Canada's Jazz service had cancelled 16% of its flights and delayed another 13% for a total of 180 affected trips on Thursday, the data shows.

KLM was also feeling the pain, with 132 flights delayed and another 78 cancelled, which amounts to 32% of all its trips on Thursday.

Still, no place is feeling the pain more than China, where the country's top two airlines cancelled or delayed over 1,200 flights on Thursday.

Ouch.

Those numbers are also likely to go up because there's still plenty of time left on Thursday for things to go awry.

U.S. flight cancellations since the May long weekend have almost doubled over the same period last year, Reuters reports. Delays have also been going up as a result.

The travel pain has gotten so rough that Delta Air Lines is actually trying to get U.S. customers to rebook their long-weekend trips for another day.

The airline is offering a "holiday travel waiver" for the Independence Day weekend so that travellers can rebook their flights to another weekend for free.

"We expect to carry customer volumes over the weekend not seen since before the pandemic," Delta said in a statement.

In other words, don't expect things to settle down once the weekend hits.

Here are the airlines that recorded the most cancellations as of Thursday morning, according to FlightAware:

  1. China Eastern
  2. Shenzhen Airlines
  3. American Airlines
  4. Jazz
  5. KLM
  6. Delta
  7. Spring Airlines
  8. Republic
  9. British Airways
  10. Air France

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

    Josh Elliott
    Senior Global Editor
    Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on celebrity interviews and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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