Travelers To This U.S. City Could Face Major Delays This Summer

If you are traveling to or from New York City this summer, prepare for major flight delays.

This summer is already expected to be an extremely busy travel season across the United States.

According to David Pekoske, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, “I expect that we’re going to see very, very strong demand all the way through the summertime, and that’s that’s what we’re preparing for.”

Air travel is expected to grow even more than it did last summer due to strong continuing demand for travel.

And New York City will likely feel the weight of that increased demand more than any other city.

“This is going to be a most challenging summer ahead,” acknowledged Joanna Geraghty, the president of New York-based airline JetBlue, on a recent earnings call.

JetBlue Plane

Why Will New York Have Flight Delays This Summer?

Although air travel numbers are expected to be extremely high across the United States, New York City will struggle more than other cities due to staffing shortages.

According to Airline Weekly, air traffic control is only at 54% of target levels in the New York City area. The United States Federal Aviation Administration has warned airlines about this shortage and how it could lead to major flight delays.

Flight Over NYC

In an attempt to alleviate the strain caused by staffing shortages and prevent delays, some airlines like JetBlue have already reduced their summer flight schedule by 10%.

Additionally, weather events like summer thunderstorms can cause flight delays and cancellations at New York City-area airports. “This has been an ongoing issue for years, and it’s gotten worse,” Joanna Geraghty stated.

However, even with flight cuts, it’s still expected that travelers in the New York City area could experience major delays while traveling this summer.

Male traveler upset over flight delay

Who Does This Affect?

Flight delays will affect travelers at all New York City-area airports this summer. That means travelers at the following airports may experience delays:

  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York, NY
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, NY
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, NJ
Exterior Of JFK Airport, New York, United States

In 2023, New York City is expected to receive more than 61 million tourists, many of whom will arrive during the busy travel season.

And with more than 23 million people living in the New York City metro area, this will affect many travelers who are attempting to travel to other destinations in the U.S. or abroad this summer.

The worst of the staffing shortages and flight delays will be felt during the summer season, especially from Memorial Day (May 29) through Labor Day (September 4) this year.

New York city Manhattan skyline seen from Brooklyn waterfront - woman enjoying view. American people walking enjoying view of Manhattan over the Hudson river from the Brooklyn side. NYC cityscape

What Can You Do About It?

If you are planning to travel to or from New York City this summer, there, unfortunately, isn’t any way to guarantee that your trip won’t be impacted by delays.

However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a delay.

One of the best strategies for avoiding flight delays is booking an early-morning flight. These have a higher likelihood of departing on time — 86% of flights departing between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. are on time, while only 66% of flights departing between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. are on time.

Woman at airport dejected over flight delay

This is because later flights are more likely to feel the negative pile-on effect of delays, stoppages, and issues that occurred earlier in the day.

You can also consider taking the train instead of flying if it makes sense for your destination. The New York City area is well-covered by trains, including Amtrak and regional trains, making it easy to get around the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States without having to fly.

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