Thanks, Buttigieg: US Hit With More Mass Flight Cancellations Ahead of July 4th Weekend

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Air travelers across the country faced hundreds of flight cancellations Wednesday, spelling trouble for the record number of people traveling this Independence Day weekend.

East Coast thunderstorms and continued FAA operational troubles caused 3,000 flights to be delayed and more than 800 cancellations on Wednesday, according to FlightAware. The FAA predicts that Thursday will be the busiest travel day with more than 52,500 total flights.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has blamed continued flight disruptions on the airlines, claiming they schedule more flights than their staff can handle. But airlines have shot back, blaming Buttigeig's FAA for staffing shortages that have made them unable to handle the high numbers of flights, the Associated Press reported.

"We estimate that over 150,000 customers on United alone were impacted this weekend because of FAA staffing issues and their ability to manage traffic," United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby wrote in a memo to employees.

Buttigieg faced fierce criticism over his management last winter as Southwest's massive flight cancellations scrambled December holiday plans and a "computer glitch" grounded planes in January.