This just in: who caused chaos across the nation by canceling flights left and right, leaving travelers stranded and frustrated? A new report by the Government Accountability Office reveals the accused culprits for the surge in flight cancellations post-pandemic, and weather is not the primary cause, as previously believed.
The airline industry has been facing increased scrutiny after a new government report revealed that airlines, not weather, have been the leading cause of flight cancellations in recent months. The report, requested by Republican leaders of the House Transportation Committee and conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that the surge in cancellations was due to factors that airlines have control over, including maintenance issues and lack of crew.
According to the GAO report, flight cancellations caused by airlines have significantly increased post-pandemic despite fewer scheduled flights. In the last six months of 2021, airline-caused cancellation rates dominated 2018 and 2019 rates.
For those of us who have forgotten the chaos, let’s refresh your memories.
This is a marked shift from the GAO’s earlier findings, which cited weather as the leading cause of cancellations. The report further indicates that budget airlines have seen the highest increase in airline-caused cancellations, but several of the largest airlines have also made more unnecessary errors.
Major airlines have taken $54 billion in taxpayer money during the pandemic to keep employees working, but have still reduced their workforce by paying incentives to quit. As travel picked up and the world returned to normal, airlines struggled to replace the thousands of workers who left, leading to operational issues.
Southwest, Delta, American, United, Allegiant Air, Spirit, JetBlue, and Frontier Airlines were responsible for more than 60 percent of their total cancellations caused by issues those carriers could control.
The report also highlights the ongoing blame game between airlines and the government. Carriers have argued that the government is to blame for insufficient air traffic controllers, while Buttigieg has pointed fingers at the airlines.
Republicans have also raised concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) under Buttigieg’s leadership, questioning whether they are helping to address the ongoing issues in the industry.
The report shows that major airlines have made errors that have left thousands of passengers stranded at airports, and that the industry has been struggling to replace the thousands of workers who left during the pandemic. However that does not take the role of the transportation department has played in fueling the chaos. When the Chaos was occuring the department did nothing to help but make matters worse, which is the opposite of what a regulator ought to do. Yes, the airlines may have been partially to blame but not without the help of this horrendous administration..
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.