(KERO) — As the July fourth holiday weekend kicks off with a boom at airports across the U.S., travelers continue to experience canceled flights and thousands of delays. U.S. air travel is likely to set a pandemic-era record at least once over the weekend.
Several major airports implementing ground stops with severe weather slamming some parts of the country Friday. Meanwhile, the surging number of passengers and pandemic-related staffing shortages also to blame.
Delta, American and United cutting back flight schedules for the next two months with insufficient staffing.
Delta even offered eight passengers on one overbooked flight 10 thousand dollars cash for their seats, this as the airline also deals with pilots picketing over pay and scheduling.
"We've now flown more overtime in the first six months of the year than we did in 2018 and 2019 combined. And those years were record years for the airline industry," said David Alder, a Delta airlines pilot.
Delta vowing to continue hiring several hundred employees weekly, they're also bringing in corporate employees to help at major airports this weekend. The TSA keeping a thousand additional agents on standby if needed.
Meanwhile, the roads are also seeing a surge in travelers an estimated 42 million people opting to drive this year.
Though gas prices are lower than last week, on average, a gallon of gas costs $4.84, nationally, the most of any July 4th ever.
"Realize that those gas stations that are closest to the highway exits will always be the most expensive. So if you can take that exit and then drive down the road a mile or so to that gas station there, it will tend to be cheaper," said AAA spokesperson, Andrew gross