Thursday expected to be the busiest day for air travel ahead of 4th of July holiday

(KSTP) – Federal officials say Thursday is expected to be the busiest day for flying in what could be a record-breaking Fourth of July weekend for travel.

This comes as tens of thousands of flights have already been canceled or delayed, due to severe weather and hazy smoke with more expected in the coming days. There have been more than 38,000 U.S. flight cancellations or delays since last Saturday, with the majority being with United Airlines for five straight days.

RELATED: Thousands of flights canceled, United CEO partially blames FAA

Airlines are hoping to ease their backlog of flights once the weather improves.

On Thursday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported there are more than 52,000 flights scheduled for Thursday, making it the busiest travel day of the holiday stretch.

The number of people choosing to fly is on the rise, even compared to before March 2020. AAA is predicting air travel to be up 11% compared to last year and about six percent higher than 2019.

Across the country, the FAA says they’re watching out for severe weather.

“We’re going to continue working on everything the FAA can control and we’re going to continue pressing the airlines to handle everything that’s under their control,” said Pete Buttigieg, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition to air traffic, more than 43 million people are expected to be on the roads for the holiday weekend.

To find the status of a flight at Rochester International Airport, CLICK HERE. For Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, CLICK HERE.