ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Holiday travelers trying to get back home are exhausted after flight delays and cancellations at airports across the nation. Some have been waiting on and off for days to catch a flight.
Bags showing up days later. Travelers waiting for another flight. Delays. Frustration – all of this can be viewed inside the Albuquerque Sunport.
“It’s just been an absolute mess,” said Mary Lovato, who was waiting with her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend. They were supposed to catch a flight around 3:30 in the afternoon, Monday. However, their flight was canceled.
“They had to come back today and again a four-hour delay… It’s just been quite a process. Quite tiring. They’re tired,” said Lovato.
On Tuesday afternoon, they were hoping to catch a flight that was delayed. They were told it would leave around 8:30 p.m. Lovato added, “I hope that Southwest can straighten up the problems.”
The Sunport said in the past five days, there have been 149 cancellations affecting passengers. According to a spokesperson, they were expecting an additional 38 canceled flights Tuesday. The problems have mostly affected Southwest travelers.
Travelers like Lari Fastnacht and her daughter who are visiting New Mexico from Montana have been affected. They were picking up their baggage Tuesday night, which was supposed to arrive days ago. They said it has been a struggle contacting the airline, especially now as they are being told their flight on Thursday is canceled.
“Soonest that they said they can get us in is not until about Sunday. If we have to just cancel the flight, we’ll have to book with another airline,” said Fastnacht.
More than 5,000 flights were canceled across the country Tuesday. Around half of them were Southwest flights. Southwest Airlines blames bad weather. They plan to operate on a reduced schedule for the next several days.