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Gas Prices, Canceled Flights: Summer Travel Woes Mount

More than 1,500 flights were canceled over the past couple of days.
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The busy summer travel season has been hectic to say the least. 

On June 27, another 750 flights were canceled in the U.S., adding to the nearly 870 that were canceled on Sunday, the day before, according to flight data tracking website FlightAware

Monday was the fifth consecutive day that commercial carriers canceled at least 500 journeys inside, heading into or out of the U.S. Wednesday was the worst day, with more than 1,400 cancellations. 

Believe it or not, this weekend's cancellations were an actual improvement over the previous week's situation when there were nearly 1,500 cancellations on Friday June 17, and nearly 1,800 combined cancellations over the next two days. 

Add to that rising gas prices that hit an all-time high earlier this month with an average of $5 per gallon, and the upcoming July 4 weekend is shaping up to be chaotic. 

In the U.K., airlines were being blamed for overbooking earlier this year as the worst of the pandemic seems behind us. But that booking took place following deep cuts to staff during the height of the pandemic when travel was less popular, according to the BBC

Some delays and cancellations in the U.S. were due to pilot and staff shortages, Forbes reported. There are some estimates that the airline industry will lose 12,000 pilots by next year. 

United Proactive on Labor

United Airlines  (UAL)  is gearing up for a rough summer as it cuts its flight schedule at its East Coast hub.

This week, United announced it is cutting roughly 50 daily flights at Newark Liberty Airport through the end of the summer to "help minimize excessive delays and improve on-time performance."

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Newark just happened to be leading the world in flight cancellations Monday, with 113, or 17% of its schedule, canceled at last check Monday. 

United did make some progress by coming to a two-year agreement with its pilot union.

United and the United Master Executive Council representing 14,000 United pilots as part of the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) voted to approve a tentative agreement on modified terms for a collective bargaining agreement.

The agreement will now go out to the rank and file for ratification.

The group says that a ratification will generate an additional $1.3 billion of value for United pilots over the course of the agreement.

According to the agreement, the pilots will see pay increases of 14.5% over 18 months, retroactive to the start of 2022, enhanced overtime compensation and premium pay, and a new, 8-week paid maternity leave benefit, among other perks. 

Industry Turbulence In a Return to Normal

It has been a bumpy ride for airlines as the industry attempts to get back into a pre-pandemic swing following more than two years of decreased travel.

In April, American Airlines  (AAL) , Delta Air Lines  (DAL) , and Alaska Airlines all posted record first quarter revenue.

United saw its revenue jump 135% year over year to $7.57 billion. While the company still lost $1.36 billion in the quarter, its operating loss more than halved year over year.

Following the quarter, United forecast a profit in 2022 and its highest second quarter earnings of record on the back of a resurgence in travel demand.