ST. LOUIS — St. Louis International Airport has been bustling with people traveling for the Fourth of July weekend. At least 16 flights were canceled Wednesday, impacting more than 1,600 fliers.
Travel industry experts said travel is up 150% from last year due to a number of factors, leading to delays and cancellations.
“My sister was telling me this morning that 200 flights got delayed or canceled on American Airlines because they had a shortage of pilots,” said Dennis Jethroe, who was traveling from Los Angeles. “But as far as Southwest Airlines, we were okay.”
Stacey Acree, the president of Brentwood Travel, said some flight cancellations are due to shortages.
“People are traveling, so that’s the good news,” said Acree. “Unfortunately, people are being stranded. Flights are canceling due to shortages. Like any other industry, pilots aren’t showing up because of overage hours.”
Acree suggested that fliers put their valuables in carry-on luggage.
“Whether it’s medicine or money, we’ve even had somebody pack an engagement ring,” said Acree. “Always pack your valuables and give yourself enough lead time between flights.”
Also, give yourself plenty of time between stops if you’re scheduling a flight that isn’t nonstop. You don’t want to miss a connecting flight. Roger Lotz with Lambert St. Louis International Airport recommends being inside the building two hours before your flight to be safe.