Airline staffing shortages could cause Fourth of July travel woes

The Fourth of July means fireworks, hamburgers, hotdogs, and quite possibly a lot of delayed flights.

"Travel this weekend is going to be, in a word, chaotic," said travel journalist Troy Petenbrink. "There’s a strong likelihood that your flight will be delayed or canceled."

Petenbrink told Fox 5 there are a few reasons why. 

Of course, weather can always be a factor, and Petenbrink said staffing is a major issue too.

Metro preps for Fourth of July travel, warns there will be delays

"The airlines laid off or did buyouts for a lot of their staff, and unfortunately they haven’t been able to staff up very quickly," he explained. "There’s a shortage of ground crew, luggage handlers, flight attendants, pilots. All of that’s in play."

Not to mention, some staff members that are scheduled to work are still getting sick with COVID too.


Petenbrink sent over a list of things he’d recommend travelers do in response, including downloading the airline’s app, signing up for flight alerts, only taking a carry-on, flying early in the day, and he said for this weekend, you might want to buy travel insurance too.

"You want to be proactive as much as possible. You want to be polite but persistent," he added.

If you’re hitting the road instead of flying this holiday weekend, Petenbrink said to expect typical driving conditions, including congestion and delays.