Burlington, VT — Summer travel season is in full swing, but an increased number of flights nationwide have brought a flurry of cancellations and delays. On Monday afternoon, the Burlington International Airport had a steady stream of flyers in the wake of Father’s Day and Burlington’s Juneteenth celebration over the weekend.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration reported more than 2.4 million people were screened at U.S. airports on Friday, the busiest day in over six months. They also reported that 5,000 flights were canceled and almost 30,000 were delayed since last Thursday.
Burlington was no exception, as passengers saw their flights coming into Burlington getting delayed or canceled over the last few days.
“When we got there, we thought our flight was on time, and then we found out that it was delayed,” said Debbie Bearden. “Then the gate changed, so then we had to go to a different gate. My sister has a hard time walking so we got very anxious about moving to a different gate. Then our flight was delayed again and then we were worried we wouldn’t meet up with our sister here in Vermont. It was very stressful.”
Bearden said her experience coming to Burlington affected how she planned to leave, and that she made sure to bring her sister to the airport early.
“I got up and I had to bring her here at 5 this morning and then I drove back. And we made sure she was here very early to make sure she was here on time. Because she was worried that her flight might get delayed.”
Beardon was not alone, as passengers from multiple cities had similar experiences, despite flying different airlines.
“I flew out of Philly, the plan was to come to Burlington,” said Brittany Grandbois. “As I was about 10 minutes away from the Philly airport, I got a notification on my phone that my flight was canceled. Not delayed but completely canceled.”
Grandbois said her airline gave her two options to get back to Vermont; find a new flight, or drive.
“I tried to hop on that flight, but the waitlist was pages long. So, my next option was to either; A: drive here, which was another 6.5 hours, or fly into Manchester, which was a 2-hour drive for my family to pick me up. Luckily, I was able to catch that flight.”
Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline leaders to ask them about the widespread flight disruptions across the U.S., but no solutions seemed imminent, as increasing demands are continuing to affect local flyers.