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As I do every morning, I check FlightAware to see how airline operations are running around the world. Not surprisingly, leading the way in delays and cancelations, were Chinese airlines and airports, due to their continuous lockdowns.

However, what was surprising was to see Delta Air Lines, which is usually a well-oiled machine, near the top. As of 9:01am PT, they have 250 canceled flights and 206 delayed. See screenshot below.

I checked the national weather maps on Accuweather (see screenshot below) and there’s nothing that indicates major problems for Delta weather-wise.

So I drilled down and clicked Delta on Flight Aware, where you can see which flights are being canceled and it’s not just one airport, although Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, which is the airline’s headquarters, does have the bulk, with 54 of the cancelations. However, New York’s LaGuardia and JFK are showing up with more frequency than others. See partial screenshot below:

I then took to Twitter to see if I could find out what’s going on and I see I’m not the only travel publisher that has noticed it. Kyle Potter, Editor of Thrifty Traveler tweeted: “Don’t call it a meltdown yet, but Delta has already canceled 235 flights today and counting – nearly 10% of its schedule for the day, per FlightAware ?
Airlines are stretching themselves thin to fly as much as possible this summer. When things go wrong, watch out.

Kyle is absolutely right. I’m not sure what the reason is but it’s not weather or air traffic control as other airlines aren’t having the same high volume of cancelations.

I looked at Delta’s Twitter feed and their agents are actively replying to upset customers. Here are a few of the angry tweets:

@GeorgeLeahman: @Delta I was on flight DL0620 last night. We arrived over 4 hours late and had to stop in BWI to refuel. Then we waited over an hour at the jet bridge. FURTHER my flight DL5672 from JFK to PWM was canceled last night AND NOW HAS BEEN CANCELED TODAY. This is AWFUL! Don’t fly Delta.

@jc_scarlett: @Delta our trip canceled few hours before taking off. No reason given. What about our vacation? No compensation for us that we have to rebook our hotel and rental?

JC is right. Customers don’t have a lot of rights accept getting their money back in full if the flight is canceled. Here’s a post I wrote on the subject: If an Airline Severely Delays or Cancels Your Flight, Are They Obligated to Cover Your Hotel Accommodations?

There are countless more tweets and I’m afraid that since it’s so early in the day, there will be a lot more delays and cancelations. If you’re flying Delta today and if your flight has been affected, please leave a comment below with details. Just remember not to take out your frustrations on the gate agents or flight attendants because they have nothing to do with it and they’re just as aggravated.

15 Comments On "Is Delta Air Lines Having a Mini Meltdown?"
  1. T. Benton|

    It certainly is a lack of transparency. Our flight DL780 out of PDX on Sunday morning at 12:45am was cancelled. No reason given. Delta did get us on a different flight leaving at 5:35am to SLC, then on to EWR.

    I know airlines are not perfect, but why can’t they tell us what happened to our flight. No staff? Mechanical problem(s), or no equipment available?

  2. Matthew W|

    Got canceled this morning flying out of San Francisco to Detroit no notice we were at the airport it’s a mess very sad

  3. TDHill|

    USA needs to adopt the EU 261 of Passenger Air Rights and provide fair compensation.

  4. Margie S|

    My flight has been cancelled 8 times since Friday that’s eight times in 2 days. No reason given. Then they sent me to a different Airport 2 hours away and by the time I got through security the flight has been cancelled again. No reason given. And half the time no notification that the flight was canceled. If I didn’t look on Delta site to check on the flight status I would never have known.

  5. WidgetGuy|

    Delta FA here, anonymous of course since it’s not official… But I’m seeing a lot of OA pax who are booking us directly and jumping ship from their original carriers. This is of course strictly personal observation; but that being said, in the normal course of business and not the sudden crazy booking scenario all airlines are finding themselves in with short staffing adding to the normal mechanical issues and inevitable weather issues that are par for the course in any operation; much less spring/summer high use operations, things have gone more squirrely than normal. We find a lot of OA pax who didn’t even want to wait in the queue for their airline to sort it out and bought outright on us. The oversell algorithm is having a hard time keeping up honestly, and we see a lot of oversells especially when the operation takes a bit from inevitable weather or mechanical issues. It’s becoming a bit of a perfect storm, and all us airlines are just trying to tread water.

  6. Jolee|

    We were canceled 5/20/22 trying to leav LGA. I was getting trip updates as gates had changed multiple times, then got delayed, then when it was canceled I received no info from Delta. Just saw it on the board. 4 hours standing in line at LGA. Was given a hotel voucher that didn’t work (probably bc their hotels were totally full). The best they could do was to get us out 48 hours later. Dealing with their customer service was horrendous. No one knows what’s going on or how to even help. I may never fly again bc of how much of a hostage situation it felt like. I certainly won’t fly Delta.

  7. Alexa|

    My delta flight was cancelled on my flight in, and now I found out my delta flight back is cancelled. No reasons given for either. #DontFlyDelta

  8. Nate|

    Thanks to Delta, I spent the first four days of this week living in airports. What was supposed be a quick trip leaving Sunday and returning Tuesday turned into a nightmare. I had three cancelled flights, and three massive delays, two of which caused me to miss connecting flights and spend even more hours in the airport. I got home Thursday rather than Tuesday. At one point I was on a shuttle with a Delta pilot at one point and asked what is going on. Apparently just massive pilot shortages, a problem that gets worse at the end of the month because they are typically only required by contract to fly 75 hours a month, and they are all busy enough they hit 75 hours by week three, leaving the last week of the month in utter chaos. FAA regs and time restrictions exasperate the problems.

  9. April|

    Flight to Orlando was canceled they timed themselves out on the tarmac and then had no other pilots to fly the plane 7 other flights followed suit in our terminal alone, all delta flights jfk may 21,2022, looked like a strike to us. Thousands of people stranded babies and grandparents left to fend for themselves no accommodations, no food not even a blanket. Waited 6 hours on line for zero help. They wouldn’t give us our bags, they were sending luggage out without the passengers knowledge. They wouldn’t even retrieve a mother’s diaper bag let her kid rot in its dirty diaper they didn’t care, disgraceful horribleto watch. It was an absolute nightmare always flew delta NEVER AGAIN horrible, horrible, horrible, I don’t know how it didn’t make the news but delta is dead, don’t fly delta.

  10. Phillard Milmore|

    One day of sub-optimal operations DOES NOT qualify as a “mini-meltdown,” especially for a carrier with a brilliant on-time record and excellent customer service like Delta. I wouldn’t expect JohhnyJet to understand that, as he/she/they/whoever isn’t an airline professional. Nor are any of the Expedia primadonnas who will “never fly Delta again” because the airline happened to have a bad day on the day they were traveling. But what the f**k do I know??

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Not much. It wasn’t one day. It’s been over a week and they just announced they’re canceling a 100 flights a day between July 1- Aug 7

  11. Angela Bowling|

    My family and I were kicked off Delta flight AM3678 on 5/28/22. Everything seemed to be going well until my monitor was not working and they started the in flight announcement, part of it stating if you have issues with your monitor to let a steward know. My husband and son were across the isle from myself and daughter and a nice stranger to my right tapped the steward on the back as she was speaking to someone across from us in next row up. She snapped her shoulder back like she had been assaulted. The guy just told her my monitor wasn’t working and she had a serious attitude and he made a comment that she probably shouldn’t be working in customer service and I agreed. She did not reset monitor. The passenger next to me then said you should probably push your button and I did. Another steward with a sharp attitude that did not want to be bothered said he would reset it- it takes 7 min. He says. My daughter set her stop watch and 7 min. That goes by then 12. I push the bell either 2 or three times not sure and he goes off on me telling me the bell is for emergencies only and he is going to have me taken off plane and does. Myself husband and 8 and 10 year old slept in the airport and that’s where we currently are waiting for another flight that will get us close to home and then we are going to see if family can come get us. If anyone else was on this flight today and witnessed what happened please respond. As we were being taken off flight several people tried to tell them we did nothing wrong that the the crew were being”assholes” but to stop people from thinking they have this kind of power people need to speak out about what they witnessed -please!

  12. Karyn HIllary|

    On May 21st we were flying Delta from Tampa to Boston to my daughter’s graduation. Our flight got cancelled and after 3 hours in lines, we were no better off then when I originally found out and rebooked on the app., for the next day. My daughter’s boyfriend was flying Delta from Anchorage to Boston. He made it as far as Seattle and his flight got cancelled too. He asked for a refund which they said they could not do without him calling customer service (3-6 hour wait all day on the customer service line and still never reached a person). We all finally made it to Boston, but were compensated NOTHING! We paid over $500 for 2 hotel rooms in Boston we could not use, because Delta could not get us to Boston until 30 hours past our original fly in time. My daughter’s boyfriend booked on Alaska Air and got there 18 hours later than expected. All courtesy of Delta, but none of us has heard a word from Delta. Needless to say I am extrememly disappointed. Thank goodness we knew flight issues were going on and booked our flights to bring us in 2 days before graduation otherwise all of us would have missed the ceremony completely. There are so many more details on how negative the situation was, including mishandling of luggage, a ticket agent forgetting I was standing there, and a Delta worked trying to help sort out the line that made everything worse and made the wait time even longer for many of us in line. Needless to say, “I am not impressed.” This is not Delta’s first time dealing with issues and also not the first time my flight has been cancelled with them in just the last 2 months.

  13. Charles Wobby|

    I just flew from BTVto FLL. Everything on time, pretty much. Crew was exceptional

  14. Abby|

    My husband and I came back from FLL to DTW today. It was a nightmare. Multiple delays and cancelations. Get to the airport and our flight was non existent. I never got a notification or email saying that out flight was canceled. Even the agent couldn’t find the flight and when they finally did it showed “on time”. Operations messed up. We spent 8 hours at the FLL Airport. Could have been worse but I’m done flying for quite a while.

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