United Airlines Gets a Handle on Canceled Flights, CEO Outlines How to Prevent Another Meltdown

Air travelers could breathe a little easier Monday, as a break in stormy weather—and lighter schedules a day before the July 4 holiday—helped airlines keep more flights moving on time. By 10 p.m. ET, about 133 U.S. flights had been canceled and 4,454 were late, according to FlightAware. Those numbers were down from more than 600 cancellations and 7,700 delays on Sunday. United Airlines, the worst-performing U.S. carrier for more than a week, was on pace for its best day in nearly two weeks, with fewer than 50 cancellations. United CEO Scott Kirby laid out steps to avoid a repeat of last week, including reducing flights at its hub airport in Newark, New Jersey, and improving its crew-scheduling system. Kirby said over the weekend that United is working with regional authorities to get more gates at the airport but will need to reduce its schedule there to create more of a buffer, especially during thunderstorm season. Kirby continued to place much of the blame for his airline’s recent struggles on the Federal Aviation Administration, which reduced the number of flights in and out of Newark a week ago. That caused United to cancel flights and left planes and crews stranded out of position. Nearly 2.7 million people per day have been streaming through airport checkpoints since Thursday, including 2.88 million on Friday, the highest number ever recorded by the Transportation Security Administration. The Federal Aviation Administration expected about 36,500 flights on Monday and fewer than 32,000 Tuesday, then a jump to nearly 50,000 flights Wednesday, when more holiday revelers will return home.

United Airlines Gets a Handle on Canceled Flights, CEO Outlines How to Prevent Another Meltdown

Air travelers could breathe a little easier Monday, as a break in stormy weather—and lighter schedules a day before the July 4 holiday—helped airlines keep more flights moving on time.

By 10 p.m. ET, about 133 U.S. flights had been canceled and 4,454 were late, according to FlightAware. Those numbers were down from more than 600 cancellations and 7,700 delays on Sunday.

United Airlines, the worst-performing U.S. carrier for more than a week, was on pace for its best day in nearly two weeks, with fewer than 50 cancellations.

United CEO Scott Kirby laid out steps to avoid a repeat of last week, including reducing flights at its hub airport in Newark, New Jersey, and improving its crew-scheduling system. Kirby said over the weekend that United is working with regional authorities to get more gates at the airport but will need to reduce its schedule there to create more of a buffer, especially during thunderstorm season.

Kirby continued to place much of the blame for his airline’s recent struggles on the Federal Aviation Administration, which reduced the number of flights in and out of Newark a week ago. That caused United to cancel flights and left planes and crews stranded out of position.

Nearly 2.7 million people per day have been streaming through airport checkpoints since Thursday, including 2.88 million on Friday, the highest number ever recorded by the Transportation Security Administration.

The Federal Aviation Administration expected about 36,500 flights on Monday and fewer than 32,000 Tuesday, then a jump to nearly 50,000 flights Wednesday, when more holiday revelers will return home.