Travelers planning to fly in or out of Logan International Airport on Saturday for the Fourth of July weekend faced mixed fortunes at the flight board.
First the good news. Airline delays were down 30 percent from Friday when more than 400 flights were running late, according to FlightAware, which tracks air travel. As of Saturday evening, there were 304 delays at the airport, the website said.
Now the bad news. FlightAware said cancellations surpass Friday’s totals. Airlines had canceled 38 flights as of 8:30 p.m Saturday, nearly doubling the number of cancellations from Friday.
Across the country, more than 5,000 flights have been delayed and another 645 canceled, the tracking service said.
The weather forecast wasn’t offering favorable conditions for Logan travelers either.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m. Saturday for all of Massachusetts outside of Cape Cod and the islands. The weather service said the thunderstorms could bring hail, scattered gusts up to 65 miles per hour, and frequent lightning.
Delays and cancellations have plagued air travel for months now, and this weekend may be the biggest test yet for the airline industry, which hasn’t fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global health crisis prompted airlines to cut costs by suspending hiring and offering early retirement packages. Now that airport crowds are surpassing pre-pandemic levels, airlines are scrambling to keep up.
On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration said it screened nearly 2.5 million individuals, up 14 percent from the same day in 2019, before the pandemic.
Over the June weekend of Father’s Day and Juneteenth, more than 200 flights out of Boston were canceled, about one-tenth of the airport’s scheduled flights, according to FlightAware and the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Logan has seen bouts of delays and cancellations several times this spring, most notably on Memorial Day weekend when over 1,400 flights were nixed nationwide.
AAA predicts that nearly 48 million people will travel by various means at least 50 miles or more from home over the weekend, slightly fewer than in 2019.
Car travel will set a record, according to AAA, even with the national average price for gasoline hovering near $5.
The average price of gas in Massachusetts is $4.87, according to AAA.
Laura Crimaldi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.