Watch CBS News

July 4th holiday weekend kicks off hellish summer for some air travelers

SFO -- The July 4th holiday weekend is off to a rough start for many people choosing to fly. The summer travel season is packed with unprecedented challenges for thousands of travelers. 

With just 15 cancellations in the last 24 hours, SFO is faring better than many major airports in the us and abroad. Still, the crowds are here, and so are headaches and disruptions. 

Holiday air travel trouble
Holiday air travel trouble CBS

Getting home to Humboldt County for the Childs family has been anything but smooth. 

"We spent 45-50 minutes on the tarmac because our gate had other planes in it, so and then we got to the customs line and that took an hour to get through so by the time we got here we missed out flight," said Shannon Childs. "My wife and daughter they're going to go home tonight and me and my son we're going to get a hotel tonight and go tomorrow morning because they're not four seats on the flight tonight." 

Airlines across the board are cancelling flights due to bad weather and crew shortages. Demand is back to pre-pandemic levels, as major airlines trim summer schedules to reduce stress on operations. 

The pain stretches all the way to Europe.

"When we got into London, Heathrow on the 21st I think it was, the amount of bags that were cluttered around the baggage check blew my mind. You could have stacked them up and built buildings with it. It was insane with all the bags that are out there so that was wild, and there have been lots of strikes," said Childs. 

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, the average air ticket prices continue to climb up $100 compared to this time last year.

Airlines have already cancelled 3,000 flights in the US over the last two days. 

"Just the second leg of our flight was canceled, so we just got new boarding passes, we got to rush down to San Jose and get the girls on a flight there," said Jason Williams of San Mateo.  

Travel experts advise showing up at least an hour earlier than you're used to as flying remains unpredictable. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.