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Buttigieg: Airline CEOs vow to make flight schedules ‘realistic’ ahead of Fourth of July

It’s expected to be a busy travel weekend for the Fourth of July holiday and many Americans are worried about what they may run into at the airport, after around 2,500 flights were canceled over the Memorial Day holiday.

Nearly 48 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend, according to AAA.

Washington Correspondent Samantha Manning spoke one-on-one with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about his virtual meeting with airline CEOs.

“They have assured me about a number of steps that they’re taking including making sure their schedules are realistic, even if it means having to reduce some schedules in the future so they can be more certain that when you sell a ticket, you’re actually able to deliver,” said Buttigieg.

We asked Buttigieg if the DOT is prepared to take any enforcement action against the airlines if passengers do end up facing widespread cancelations or delays again.

“We have a number of tools and authorities and we’re prepared to use them,” said Buttigieg. “We already acted against airlines that failed to provide refunds that they owed to consumers…I’d rather not have it come to that but when those issues happen, we will act.”

Cheryl Vancoverden from Alexandria, VA said she is planning to drive out of town for the weekend to go golfing and is relieved she won’t have to do with the potential hassle at the airport.

“We have a friend who just went to London who had quite a horrible time with the flights and the delays, so we’re glad we weren’t with them,” said Vancoverden. “We’re not getting on a plane. Wouldn’t want to do that.”

If you are planning to get on a plane this weekend, travel experts advise you to get to the airport even earlier than usual.