Flight delays, cancellations worry some travelers ahead of July 4 holiday weekend

Tamara Scott Image
Friday, July 1, 2022
North Carolinians stay "closer to home" for July 4th holiday
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Travelers are gearing up to take advantage of the holiday weekend. RDU expects 39,000 people to fly through the area Friday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Travelers are gearing up to take advantage of the holiday weekend. Raleigh-Durham International Airport expects 39,000 people to fly through the area Friday.

For the entire July 4th weekend, more than 182,000 people will use the airport to get to and return from trips.

But the increase in travel, and some lingering staffing problems for airlines, are causing delays and cancellations.

Francis Abdullah and his family had to push back their trip to Egypt for several days. Instead of flying to Canada and then directly to Egypt, the family will have to make a pit stop in Rome.

Abdullah said the hassle was "miserable," but he's still excited to take his daughters to Cairo for the first time.

Another group at RDU on Friday was preparing to fly to Miami to get on a cruise ship.

The group was split, with some being worried about potential travel delays and cancellations and others professing confidence that everything will work out just fine.

"I know we're not going to get canceled, and (if we do) it's better than driving 12 hours in the car," Kim Johnston said.

For Asheboro resident Timothy Benware, the dream destination for Independence Day is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But in two words, Benware explained why trip was put on hold.

"Gas prices," Benware said.

Benware, who's never been to Gettysburg, hopes the trip will one day fit the budget, as gas prices not only affected holiday plans but travel in general.

"We've cut back the number of trips," Benware said. "But we've also cut back the distance we're traveling as well. We have to."

Bill Pillar, who parked in the same campground, echoed Benware.

"We were going to go to Niagara Falls again this year," Pillar said. "And with the cost of gas, we decided to come to this local lake at Holly Point."

Pillar said when you have an RV, filling up an 80-gallon tank adds up.

AAA reports gas prices in the Carolinas are falling as millions travel for the holiday but it's still not enough to change Pillar's plan.

"Sacrifices have got to be made," Pillar said. "Retired man and his wife out getting some relaxation, it's all in where you do it, home is where the heart is."

With car travel expected to set a new record despite things costing more, driving is better than flying, according to Benware.

"The cost of airline tickets now, and plus the waits in the airports," Benware said. "You don't even know if your flights going to go out because they're canceling so many flights now. I've had friends that have gotten stranded and it's just such an unknown."

Both Benware and Pillar's plans may have changed but the weekend is looking to be wholesome for them with family and friends.

"Floating around in the water, going to do a little hiking, we've got some kayaks that are here, we got some bikes that are here, just enjoying the outdoors, enjoying nature."