More than 16,000 flight delays around the country Saturday topped off a weekend full of headaches for those traveling by air. According to FlightAware, many of those were in North Texas.
At DFW Airport, some travelers returned for a second day Saturday after not making it out the night before.
“It was just completely packed. I don’t think there were a lot of people in good moods. Traveling alone is stressful. But throw in a cancellation, and it’s a bad recipe,” said Logan Stammen.
Though an American Airlines spokesperson said most cancellations were due to weather, Stammen said he was told his flight home to Indianapolis was delayed first for equipment issues and then staffing shortages. After several hours, he learned he’d have to stay in Dallas for the night.
“We waited in line for about three hours to see if we could get our hotel paid for,” he said.
According to FlightAware, his was one of nearly 70 cancellations out of DFW in the last 24 hours along with more than 220 delays today.
“My sister called us at three a.m. and said, ‘Hey. Our flight got canceled.’ So, we were trying to help them and figure out what we could do to get them here,” said Charles Gowans.
Gowans said his mom and sister scrambled to get a refund and to book new flights to visit him in Memphis.
“She was on hold for about three or four hours waiting to talk with somebody,” he said.
In the end, they managed to do both.
Still, with his own trip scheduled, Gowans said he’s concerned as surging summer travel is met head-on with a pilot shortage the airlines are scrambling to fix.
And after having to fly to Cincinnati and rent a car to make it home, Stammen is also thinking ahead to his next trip.
According to American Airlines, when passengers are canceled or delayed due to an issue caused by the airline, it will cover an overnight stay. But when the weather’s to blame, like in many cases this weekend, those expenses fall on the traveler.
“I don’t know if I just want to cancel it and drive, but then you’ve got $5.50 a gallon gas, so it’s like what do you do? You just suck it up?,” said Stammen. “It’s concerning for sure.”