O'Hare, Midway Expect Over 1M Travelers July Fourth Weekend Amid Airline Concerns

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As airlines continue to report flight delays and cancellations, travelers planning trips this Fourth of July weekend could face some potential difficulties.

As travel troubles hit the nation as summer begins and global restrictions lift, airlines like the Lufthansa Group said the issues will not likely be resolved in the short term.

"Too many employees and resources are still unavailable, not only at our infrastructure partners but in some of our own areas, too," Lufthansa Group said in a statement. "Almost every company in our industry is currently recruiting new personnel, with several thousand planned in Europe alone. However, this increase in capacity will only have its desired stabilizing effect by the time winter comes."

Lufthansa Group, which includes Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss airlines, noted that the war in Ukraine is also limiting airspace in Europe, leading to "massive bottlenecks in the skies."

On Tuesday, the U.S. saw 4,640 flight delays within, into or out of the country, according to Flight Aware. Over 600 flights were entirely canceled, as well.

Delta has blamed its cancellations on "compounding factors affecting our operation" which included "higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some of our work groups, weather and air traffic control constraints," according to NBC News.

United told NBC News that its latest cancellation numbers were skewed by schedule changes out of Newark, New Jersey, announced last week.

NBC News also reported that Allegiant said in a statement Monday night that its numbers in the FlightAware database were skewed by a "schedule adjustment to 14 flights that were originally supposed to operate" Sunday.

The carrier said that passengers who were impacted by those changes were re-accommodated to other flights or issued refunds.

Great Wolf Lodge, located in Gurnee, responded to the flight concerns, offering vouchers to families whose holiday weekend plans were impacted by travel difficulties.

Any family staying at the resort who had their trips disrupted due to a flight cancellation are eligible for a chance to receive a complimentary one-night stay at any of the 18 resort locations nationwide.

Families can take a screenshot of the flight cancelation notice and share it with @GreatWolfLodge on Twitter, adding #GWLRescue. Great Wolf Lodge will then select 100 families for the voucher program.

Amid cancellations and worker shortages, Chicago airports expect 1.6 million travelers between Thursday and Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Aviation said, with O'Hare International Airport expecting a 17.3% increased from last year and 36.9% uptick at Midway Airport.

Here are some tips from the city's aviation department, if traveling for the Fourth:

  • Arrive early
  • Before arrival, check flight times, parking information, taxi wait times, available food near the gate and any other alerts
  • To avoid traffic, consider taking the CTA Blue Line to O'Hare and Orange Line to Midway; drop off at the Kiss n' Fly; or use Cell Phone Lots while waiting to pick up travelers
  • Be wary of construction at O'Hare along the curbsides in Terminal 5 and roadways in Terminals 1, 2 and 3
  • Locate the nearest, new lactation pods being installed at O'Hare's Terminal 1, as well as existing pods at Terminals 1, 2 and 3, along with one at Midway
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