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Memorial Day holiday travel breaks records as storms delay, cancel flights – UPI.com

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1 of 2 | Millions of Americans heading home from their Memorial Day holiday faced thousands of flight delays and cancellations due to storms across the United States, as the number of travelers in the air broke records. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

May 27 (UPI) — Millions of Americans heading home from their Memorial Day holiday faced thousands of flight delays and cancellations due to storms across the United States, as the number of travelers in the air and on the roads broke records.

There were more than 6,000 flight delays in the United States as of Monday night and nearly 500 cancellations, according to FlightAware, for the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport experienced the most delays and cancellations after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stoppage due to severe thunderstorms. All flights were grounded for more than an hour Monday morning in Atlanta with incoming flights diverted to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

Flights heading to Boston’s Logan International Airport experienced hour-long delays Monday night due to the large number of Memorial weekend travelers.

All three of New York’s airports — John F. Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia Airport and Newark International Airport — were averaging delays between two and three hours due to severe weather, according to the FAA.

On Friday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced it had screened nearly 3-million people at U.S. airports, breaking a record for the most travelers in a single day, with most of those same travelers expected to return home on Monday.

“TSA Officers have set a new record for most travelers screened in a single day!” TSA wrote in a post on X.

“On Friday, May 24, 2,951,163 individuals were screened at checkpoints nationwide, surpassing the previous record on Nov. 26, 2023.”

The American Automobile Association also predicted a record number of road-trippers with some 38 million drivers expected to hit the roads over the holiday weekend.

According to projections earlier this month, AAA predicted 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from their home over Memorial weekend, a 4% increase over last year.

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” Paula Twiddle, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said in a statement.

“We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.”

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