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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Airlines Hurt By Weather Problems And Staffing Shortages; January 6 Committee Hearing To Focus On Trump Efforts To Pressure Officials; Average Monthly Car Payments Soar Past $700 In U.S. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so the summer travel season is here and Americans want to get away. The trouble is the industry is not ready -- widespread airline delays and cancelations this weekend. More than 900 flights were canceled Sunday and more than 3,000 since Friday leaving passengers scrambling.


ANNA, ATLANTIC PASSENGER WHOSE FLIGHT WAS CANCELED: I'm trying to get back and I was supposed to be taking Alaska Airline but they said that the flight was canceled because their short of staffs. They said they're short of (INAUDIBLE), cabin crew -- you know, all kinds of shortage they have now.


ROMANS: Let's bring in Peter Goelz, CNN aviation analyst and former NTSB managing director.

There are so many different things going on all at once and I feel like so many Americans, Peter -- they want to -- they want to travel again like it's 2019. It is not 2019 -- not even close.

What's behind these delays?

PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST, FORMER NTSB MANAGING DIRECTOR (via Skype): Well, there's a number of things that have come to a head all at once.

First, you have to go back to the start of the pandemic. Air carriers offered very attractive early retirement packages to reduce their overheads. A lot of their senior pilots took advantage of them and retired.

They parked large numbers of older aircraft in the desert because they weren't -- you know, flying essentially ceased. And then, the recovery started and it came much quicker than they were prepared for. It's hard to ramp up to get the aircraft off the desert and back into service, and it's much harder to get pilots trained and get them back online.


So, there is a shortage of pilots. There also is a shortage of equipment and the demands are very great. It's going to be an awfully tough summer.

ROMANS: Yes, it's such a unique kind of career. It's not like you can just --


ROMANS: -- go out and hire a whole bunch of pilots overnight and have them flying a plane. We have very significant rules about training and the number of flight hours you need, right?

GOELZ: That's -- that is absolutely correct. Following the Colgan accident, tragically, outside of Buffalo in 2009 --

ROMANS: That's right.

GOELZ: -- the number of flight hours to become a pilot increased to 1,500. And that has put a real strain on the feeder system into commercial piloting. It's expensive and it takes time. And there simply isn't enough pilots coming online.

JARRETT: So, Peter, is this going to be sort of where we are for the rest of the summer?

GOELZ: Well, I think -- I think there's certainly indications that the combination of tougher weather -- you know, we are having more storms later in the day. We don't have -- the air carriers don't have reserve planes sitting that can be plugged into service.

And the shortage of pilots means two things. One is the frequency is going to be less. Your flight might be canceled. There's not going to be another flight right away, and that's a challenge.

And then secondly, a lot of smaller and mid-sized cities are losing service. So whereas there might have been five flights a day to Buffalo, New York from Washington, there will now only be two, and if one gets canceled there is -- there's going to be trouble.

So I think it's going to be a challenging summer and consumers really need to plan. They need to take some ownership of their flight plans and anticipate problems.

JARRETT: Yes. So what advice do you have? What can you do other than just try to get to the airport early and --

ROMANS: And bring a good book.

JARRETT: -- settle in and prepare for delays and be patient.

GOELZ: Well, yes, it's tough. I mean, one thing -- one thing I try to do is fly as early in the day as possible. I try to avoid flying or connecting in that -- in that 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. range when thunderheads start to build up and you're flying at the end of the day where an earlier delay could cascade. You know, planes make multiple flights each day.

And try to not connect as -- if you can avoid it. Fly to -- attempt to fly direct --


GOELZ: -- if you can.


GOELZ: But you've got to be a droit and you've got to become a road warrior --


GOELZ: -- and that's the only advice I can give.

ROMANS: That's very, very good advice. And I would also add the way we're looking at inflation. If you've got a flight you need to take in the fall -- I mean, you can book those flights now and pay for them now.

JARRETT: They're not going to get cheaper.

ROMANS: They're not going to get any cheaper. So that's something to keep in mind as well.

Peter Goelz, CNN aviation analyst, thank you so much. Nice to see you this morning.

JARRETT: Thanks, Peter.

GOELZ: Nice seeing you both.

ROMANS: All right. Your next car payment won't look like your last car payment. There's more than one reason why.

JARRETT: And a Major League rookie doing something that's never been done before.



JARRETT: All right, welcome back.

The next public hearing of the January 6 Committee is set for tomorrow afternoon. This one will focus on how the former president and his allies developed a scheme to submit fake Electoral College ballots as part of the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz has more on this.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR REPORTER, CRIME AND JUSTICE (on camera): This week, we're going to see another aspect of Donald Trump trying to manipulate the laws to take the election.

This Tuesday, the public hearing before the House select committee is going to focus on the states -- specifically, battleground states like Arizona and Georgia where Donald Trump and his lawyers were trying to get state legislators and party officials to change the outcome of the popular vote in those states. And I should remind everyone those were states that Trump lost.

So, we know there are two aspects the Trump team focused on in 2020- 2021, and that we'll be hearing more about.

One was how there was this direct pressure campaign that Donald Trump was placing on state officials. That would include people like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He will be testifying on Tuesday. He's the one who received that phone call from the president in early January asking him to quote "find votes" in Georgia.

There's also Rusty Bowers from Arizona. He's also set to testify. He received a similar call from Trump and others about his state using Republican electors who would back Trump as a way to supplant Biden's Electoral College votes there.

And this hearing won't just be about the maneuvering in the states that we know that the Trump campaign and many lawyers were taking part in. It will also focus on Donald Trump himself and his role.

Here's what committee member Adam Schiff said about that Sunday on CNN.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We will show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We'll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislatures back into session or decertify the results for Joe Biden.


The system held because a lot of state and local elections officials upheld the oath of the Constitution -- a lot of them Republicans as well as Democrats.

POLANTZ (on camera): Schiff mentions there was both Republicans and Democrats taking part and that's an important point to remember going into this hearing. The officials who we know will be testifying from Georgia and Arizona about Donald Trump's pressure campaign and how they pushed back against him -- those men are all Republicans.

Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington


JARRETT: Katelyn, thank you for that.

Pivoting here to something very different, SpaceX pulling off a cosmic hat trick.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, ignition.


JARRETT: The company launching three rockets into space in just over 36 hours this weekend, the third on Sunday carrying a communications satellite for Globalstar orbit. On Friday, SpaceX launched 53 of its Starlink internet satellites. And on Saturday, a radar satellite for the German military.

ROMANS: Very cool.

All right, drivers got a very slight break on the price of gas this weekend with the average price per a gallon of unleaded dipping below the $5 mark. This morning, the AAA national average, $4.98 a gallon. That's down three cents from last Tuesday. But don't count on prices staying below $5 for long. Schools are -- schools are about to let out and the summer travel season will be in full swing soon pushing demand and prices higher again soon.

It's not just the price of gas that's making hitting the road an expensive proposition these days. Monthly car payments, like the price of most cars, soaring to record rates with the latest average payment hitting $712 a month.

CNN's Camila Bernal has the story.


ROLAND PAHUD, CAR BUYER: There here is the Wrangler 4-wheel drive.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Roland Pahud's new Jeep. It was a necessity, he says, and a quick decision.

PAHUD: I had another car. It was out of mileage and I needed a bigger one.

BERNAL (voice-over): The Jeep was about $50,000, leaving his monthly payment at about $800 -- higher than the most recent Kelley Blue Book monthly payment average at $712.

MATT DEGEN, SENOR EDITOR, KELLEY BLUE BOOK: This is a new record. For that monthly payment, this is a new record. And then, the car -- the new car prices are actually near records.

BERNAL (voice-over): In the last year, new car prices have gone up 12.6%; used cars up 16.1%; food, 10.1%; and gas up 48.7%.

But gas prices not necessarily deterring potential buyers at this Southern California car dealership.

RAED MALAEB, GENERAL MANAGER, RUSSELL WESTBROOK CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM: The amount is high and supply is still low. And we're still in a shortage era.

BERNAL (voice-over): This, paired with the high interest rates, making it difficult for buyers.

DEGEN: We don't see prices decreasing much. And even if they do, just keep in mind that interest rates are rising. So the cost of borrowing money is going up so that just means you're still going to be paying as much or nearly as much as you were even if those prices go down.

BERNAL (voice-over): Car, home, and student loans all higher. Interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage have jumped from 2.93% to 5.78% in the last year.

PAHUD: This is how it looks.

BERNAL (voice-over): Pahud wishes his interest would have been lower but says it was his need and want that motivated his new car purchase.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROMANS: You know, this car purchase issue is really something because people -- you know, it used to be you could just get the car that you wanted.


ROMANS: Now you can't really find, sometimes, the car that you want. And a lot of people who leased, and I'm in this category, leased a car, like in 2019. They're in this interesting position where it actually makes sense for you to buy the car back because you can't get -- the contract price is --


ROMANS: -- so much lower than where prices have gone.

JARRETT: Yes, and if you had let it go you might not be able to get anything else that you want right now, right --

ROMANS: It's fascinating. That's right.

JARRETT: -- given all of the back orders?

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

JARRETT: All right.

Well, a first for the country and for CNN. A special concert honoring Juneteenth aired last night -- a commemoration, of course, of the new federal holiday marking the end of slavery in America. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOLANDA ADAMS, SINGER: Singing Black National Anthem "Lift Every Voice And Sing."


JARRETT: Kicking things off there, Yolanda Adams with the Black National Anthem. The live telecast from the Hollywood Bowl offering a little something for everyone from R&B to country, to rock, rap, dance, spoken word, to Chaka Khan bringing down the house.




JARRETT: She makes everything better.


The show also included recorded messages from the vice president, President Biden, and former first lady Michelle Obama who called on viewers to vote.

All right, let's get a little sports. Golfer Matt Fitzpatrick winning the U.S. Open in dramatic fashion with a brilliant shot on the final hole.

Carolyn Manno is here with us in person with this morning's Bleacher Report.



MANNO: I hope you guys had a nice weekend. It was a great weekend for all the dads out there who are sports fans.

The country club in Brookline, a very special place as well for the 27-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick. He won the U.S. Amateur title there in 2013 and he has now added his first Major championship. The Englishman in legendary company, by the way. He and Jack Nicklaus -- the only men to win both of those events on the same course.

The last three U.S. Opens held at the country club all went to a playoff and this was no leisurely stroll on Sunday, that's for sure. Fitzpatrick went into the last hole with a 1-stroke lead but found the fairway bunker off the tee.

So faced with a very difficult shot here -- the one shot he said he's been struggling with all year long out of the bunker. Not on Sunday though. A career-defining shot and the moment that will be talked about at the U.S. Open for years to come, landing the ball right on the green. With nerves of steel, Fitzpatrick would go on to make par and finish the tournament at 6-under.

And then it all came down to Will Zalatoris. He needed to make this putt on 18 to force a playoff, but he misses by a fraction of an inch. The U.S. Open often described as the most difficult test in golf and moments like this are why it always delivers.

Matthew Fitzpatrick earning not only his first Major but his first win as a professional on American soil. And afterward, our Don Riddell spoke with the new champ.


MATTHEW FITZPATRICK, 2022 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION: It was incredible, you know. I thought about what it potentially could feel like and it felt like that and more. You know, it's just like a big relief. You finish the tournament and you've won and you realize that you've achieved one of your lifelong goals. And yes, just the emotion kind of floods in and it's -- yes, it's just such a special day for me.


MANNO: The win also very emotional for Fitzpatrick's caddie, Billy Foster. He's been a caddie for nearly 40 years. He has carried the bag for some of the biggest names in golf, including Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, but in all those years had never won a Major until yesterday.

Caddies traditionally keep the 18th flags after a win and this moment right here just telling you all you need to know about what that meant. Just incredible.

A day to remember in baseball for the Pirates' Jack Suwinski. Check this out. The 23-year-old belting a walk-off homer to right -- his third home run of the day lifting the Pirates past the Giants. He is the first rookie ever to hit three homers with the final one being a walk-off.

Not only was it special for him, it was special for his dad as well. His dad Tim was in the stands to see it happen. A Father's Day that they will not forget anytime soon.

In the meantime, Arizona's Buddy Kennedy will never forget his first career homer. Not only was it a Grand Slam, but gave the Diamondbacks a commanding lead over the Twins. His dad, Clifton, in the left-field stands and ends up getting the home run ball. I kid you not. Afterwards, Clifton and his wife giving the home run ball back to their son down on the field.

But can you believe this? I mean, what a moment.


MANNO: The first part is good; the second part is better. Exactly -- how, how, how, how?

ROMANS: How do you top that? MANNO: I know. It's just beautiful. A perfect Father's Day.

JARRETT: That's incredible.

MANNO: Lots of great stories over the weekend, yes.

ROMANS: Great to see you, Carolyn. Thank you so much.

JARRETT: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, to the movies now. To infinity and beyond -- not exactly.


Clip from "Lightyear."


ROMANS: All right. The new Pixar film "Lightyear" had a disappointing debut, opening to an estimated $51 million at the box office this weekend. The spinoff, set in the "Toy Story" universe, is the first Pixar movie to be released in theaters since 2020.


Clip from "Jurassic World: Dominion."


ROMANS: So, dinosaurs still rule at the box office. "Jurassic World: Dominion" made $158 million to stay at number one for a second week.


Clip from "Top Gun: Maverick."


ROMANS: And "Top Gun: Maverick" steady as she goes. The Tom Cruise blockbuster was third with a $44 million take in its fourth weekend of release.

JARRETT: I still need to see that.

ROMANS: I haven't --

JARRETT: Everyone says it's so good.

ROMANS: I know. I haven't seen it yet.

JARRETT: We saw the original, obviously --


JARRETT: -- but we need to go see that. ROMANS: I know.

All right, we should do a show outing, right --

JARRETT: I'm down.

ROMANS: -- now that we can actually be all together again.

Thanks for joining us.

JARRETT: Any time before July. Get it in now.

ROMANS: OK, we'll get it in now.

I'm Christine Romans. Thanks, everybody.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next with COVID vaccines for children under the age of 5 finally as early as this week.

ROMANS: And the big week ahead for NASA's new moon mission.