Travel trouble with flights, gas prices continues this 4th of July

WASHINGTON — There’s more travel trouble for the holiday weekend with plenty of flight cancellations and delays as air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, a new war of words has erupted over high gas prices between the White House and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

And now, the White House is firing back.

This holiday weekend, flight issues are hitting airports hard. The top three most affected airports are Hartsfield, Jackson in Atlanta, Newark in New Jersey, and JFK in New York.

“My flight got canceled, but I didn’t find out until I got to the gate,” a customer said.

On Friday alone, the Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 2.5 million people, a record high since the start of the pandemic.

Since then thousands of flights canceled, and many more delayed.

“I spent $656 on a ticket. And now I’m still trying to find a way to get home,” a traveler said.

Bad weather along with increased demand for travel and persistent pandemic employee shortages at airlines are contributing to the issues nationwide.

“We are seeing an airline industry that is stretched. And it doesn’t help that the FAA is also stretched,” said Henry Harteveldt, Travel Industry Analyst.

Roads are also congested this holiday, AAA said a record 42 million travelers took to the road.

“Because when I checked with the airplane prices, they were like ridiculous,” a driver said.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby fired back at Amazon’s Bezos. He criticized President Biden’s call for oil companies to lower prices at the pump. Bezos said the administration is misdirecting or misunderstanding basic market dynamics.

“He tells exactly what he’s thinking in terms that everybody can understand. So, I think, we obviously take great exception of the idea that this is somehow misdirection,” Kirby said.

Kirby instead touted Biden’s efforts to lower gas prices, including trying to cap the price of Russian oil.

The national average gas price has dropped to $4.81, down from the record-high $5 a gallon from last month.

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