Some 2.2 million travelers waded through U.S. airport security on Sunday—more than on any day since the pandemic started.

Many of them were probably grumpy before they got to the metal detector.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Summer travel is often a slog full of crowds, delays, storms and limited customer help. But this year it’s as if airlines were starting from scratch. The joy many have felt traveling again has flown into the reality of a summer that, by the numbers, has been worse than usual.

Travelers have run into delays and cancellations related to everything from computer glitches to shortages of fuel-truck drivers. Problems have meant four hours waiting on the phone—even before you head to the airport. Rampant schedule changes by airlines have left tons of travelers improvising new plans.

Summer storms always lead to cancellations and missed connections, but this year the lack of empty seats, spare planes, pilots and flight attendants have left some travelers waiting days to get to destinations.

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