LaGuardia Airport sees over 1,000 flight cancellations and delays

LaGuardia Airport sees over 1,000 flight cancellations and delays

LaGuardia Airport sees over 1,000 flight cancellations and delays

“Finally boarding!!”



Emily Rela

Hundreds of cancellations plagued LGA on Thursday

It was the text I sent to my friends after finally boarding my flight at around 3:02 pm, which was originally scheduled to depart at 12:55 pm. Technically it was the second flight I was supposed to be on – the first was a 9:30am flight to Washington, DC (DCA) but canceled without explanation about two hours before scheduled departure.

I let out a sigh of relief as I boarded my Delta flight and prepared for a long-delayed takeoff, happy to reach our nation’s capital before dark.

(Narrator: In fact, she wouldn’t arrive before dark.)

My flight was one of 1,000 flight disruptions – including over 600 cancellations – at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday due to bad weather, staff shortages and pilot strikes between airlines. Many, including myself, faced long hours of waiting at the terminals and on the runways, which led to overcrowded runways and waiting areas.

I noticed that it was taking a long time for the plane to taxi, but I attributed this to a crowded runway, which is exactly what we were initially told – congestion caused by delays in and out of the airport.

Planes backed up on the runway.

About an hour and a half passed. Congestion issues became weather issues and another 40 minutes passed. Morale was low, but a single cookie cracker gave me enough sustenance and sanity to keep my composure. When words fail, snacks do indeed speak.

We were then told that the DCA was at a ground stop (meaning no more planes could land on the runway there) and that it would take an indefinite amount of time until we were getting off, and so we were allowed to unbuckle our seat belts and rotate our cell phone services again.

After four hours on the track (30 hours due to track congestion) we headed back to the gate where we were told to “find out our future travel plans”.

Translation: Wait in a long line of over 150 people at the Delta help desk it took from the time I got off the aircraft and walked to the end of the line to the time I saw an agent at the counter, approximately another three hours .

The long queue to get to customer service. The wait was about 1.5 hours from this point.

Fortunately, I managed to make two new friends named Lauren and Ruth, who helped me laugh during the seemingly endless waiting period, both not living in New York and now stuck in the city.

Pro tip: in times of need, your best ally may just be the stranger on the bench in front of you.

I returned home after more than 14 hours at the airport, around midnight, defeated and cried at a McNuggets order.

FlightAware estimated that there were a total of 505 delayed flights on Thursday at LaGuardia, along with 454 canceled flights. This made for a packed LGA.

Two passengers from New York, Patrick and Riley, were delayed on the runway for hours after being told there were 57 planes ahead of them waiting to take off.

As of late Friday afternoon, around 4pm, there were another 249 flights reported delayed and 219 cancellations.

Look at all that red!

“We know that spending more time on board your flight waiting to depart New York followed by a subsequent return to the gate and cancellation is not what you planned today,” Delta wrote in an email to me Friday morning. -fair. “Inclement weather, ATC restrictions and taxi congestion prevented us from operating as planned. While we cannot control the weather, we are mindful of the fact that this makes for a disappointing travel experience. I am very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. . “

Staff shortages can also be to blame.

Earlier this season, airlines had warned of summer cancellations and a lower volume of flights.

New Yorker Abigail Dowd was flying to LGA from Savannah, Georgia, on Friday when she learned her 1:21 pm flight had been cancelled.

“My sister texted me at 8:24 this morning and asked for my flight information,” Dowd said. “I opened the Delta app to send her a screenshot of my ticket and said so.”

“I immediately panicked,” she said. “Checked my email: nothing. No forwarding or redialing from Delta… They usually offer a callback option, which was not offered.”

Dowd ended up having to reschedule a new flight on JetBlue in hopes of returning to LGA the same day, noting that most flights were already fully booked.

“I honestly can’t believe I made it out today,” she admitted. “Even if you looked for other cities and/or connections, everything was booked.”

Delta pilots also released an open letter to passengers lamenting the state of flying and explaining that the pilot shortage is affecting the overall experience.

“We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you reach your destination,” the letter reads. “At the current rate, this fall our drivers will have done more overtime in 2022 than they did in 2018 and 2019 combined, our busiest years to date.

Delta had previously warned it would cancel about 100 flights a day in July and August due to staff shortages, following in the footsteps of Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, which were planning to cut their flight schedules this summer.

A Spirit Airlines traveler, Ben Utley, was leaving LGA for Myrtle Beach.

“I was on a flight at 6:55 am, we were not communicated about any delays until the time of takeoff, they lined us up and then postponed the flight to 10 am,” he said. “Once we boarded we sat on the runway for 1.5 hours and then they started telling us we would be flying west to fly east to avoid a storm and extend our short flight by an hour.”

Entrepreneur contacted the Port Authority, which manages LaGuardia Airport. They did not provide further comment on the matter.

The US is estimated to oversee 2 million air travelers a day domestically, with disruptions becoming more common lately as air travel starts to return to pre-pandemic levels.

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