SFO largely escapes air travel delays and cancelations

The spate of air travel trouble continued over the 4th of July holiday weekend as thousands more flights have been canceled or delayed during this recent travel surge.

Many of the problems are being blamed on overbooking and staff shortages at airlines.

Whether your holiday air travel is smooth or bumpy largely depends on where you're traveling to or from. 

Sunday afternoon, there were 289 flight cancelations domestically and nearly 3,500 delays.  Those delays climbed above 20,000 worldwide.

One traveler discovered New York was a choke point.

"I’m supposed to leave at 1:30 p.m., they’ve delayed it to 3 p.m. already today, so I don’t know if I’m going to get out or not on time,"  Austin Mallard said as he was waiting for a flight at La Guardia.

In a sea of somewhat turbulent travel, San Francisco International Airport is relatively calm.   

Unlike issues in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, amongst others, the flight boards at SFO have been much better showing minimal problems.  

Mid-Sunday afternoon, there were just four cancelations and 130 delays, according to flight aware. 

Scott Ellington was headed home to Atlanta, a trouble spot, but his SFO experience had been problem-free.

"Coming out here we made it and I told my wife we’re going to be lucky to make it home on time.  As of right now, we’re on schedule," said Ellington.  

SFO’s Duty Manager Chris Morgan said their smooth operations are partly due to efficiency changes they made in preparation for a resurgence in travel.  The airport reconfigured some queues and worked with TSA on scheduling.

"So they’ve made adjustments as far as starting, opening the security checkpoints at different times, which has been really helpful, increasing the K-9 presence at checkpoint operations, and that has allowed us to get people through quicker, so the aircraft, they’re not waiting on passengers like at some other airports," Morgan said. 

The recently updated website www.flysfo.com is one source for flight tracking and other information.

While airport officials recommend arriving three hours early for international flights, and two hours for domestic flights, one traveler headed to Seattle took that advice a bit further after hearing news of recent problems.

"Actually I arrived four hours early, just to prepare for anything, any sort of delay. Right now, so far, it’s fine. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way," said Patrick Shu, who was destined for Seattle.

And that was the hope of many holiday travelers making their way through SFO.