BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Flight cancellations continue to cause stress, concern for travelers

Dec 27, 2022, 3:05 PM
salt lake international airport baggage claim is full after cancellations...
60 flights at the Salt Lake City International Airport have been canceled so far. (Alexandrea Bonilla/KSL NewsRadio)
(Alexandrea Bonilla/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — 60 flights were canceled Tuesday at Salt Lake City International Airport, with over 80% of those flights being from Southwest Airlines. Passengers in the airport are facing uncertainty, stress and even extra costs because of the cancelations.

Officials are calling it one of the worst airline meltdowns in U.S. history. The Department of Transportation announced it will be examining Southwest Airlines for the over 2900 flights suddenly canceled.

Flight cancellations keep people from home

Marion Scherer is just one of many individuals trying to figure out a way to get back home after a flight cancellation.

“And then we get — at 6:11 — received a text saying ‘oh your flight’s been changed to 6:30.’ And we’re scrambling to get here in time. Then find out, well we have to wait two days before we can go home, so it’s frustrating.”

She also had some difficulty getting to Salt Lake from Seattle, Washington last Wednesday. After running through the airport to catch her flight, she discovered the airline delayed it by four hours. 

As hundreds of people are trying to find a way to get to their destination, some even opt for rental cars and drive to their destination instead.

“We had to spend the night in a hotel and we did manage to snag a rental car the next morning at 6 a.m., drove home for 12 hours,” said Robert, another SLC International Airport traveler.

And even keeping up with airline app and text notifications still isn’t enough. Some individuals are getting them too late.

“I got a text but I didn’t see the text until I actually got to the airport,” said Kenna Harris.

Harris, who is trying to get to San Diego to see family, said the next available flight isn’t until Sunday.

Some passengers like Kalin Wiersna told KSL NewsRadio this isn’t even their first day of waiting. 

“I was supposed to be out of here early yesterday, but now it doesn’t look like at least till Thursday. Or pay a couple $1,000 to get out of here today or tomorrow,” Wiersna said.

Silver linings

While frustration is completely understandable, passengers like Glenda are grateful for the employees actively trying to help her during this crazy time.

“It’s really nobody’s fault. It’s just weather conditions. And people have been very kind and helpful and tried to do what they could.”

She is hoping to make it to California by tomorrow for her sister’s funeral. Her husband was speaking to multiple airlines trying to find a solution.

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Flight cancellations continue to cause stress, concern for travelers