COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Travel troubles have not stopped at the Columbus airport. Tuesday, there have been dozens more flight cancellations at CMH and thousands more nationwide.
More than 60 percent of those are from Southwest Airlines, making their passengers frustrated and wanting answers. So far Tuesday, there have been 18 departing flight cancellations out of CMH – all of those flights are Southwest.
Some hopeful flyers are calling Southwest the grinch that stole Christmas. “I am feeling frustrated, I’m sad, extremely disappointed,” said Julie Hunt. Disappointment is the mood at John Glenn International Airport.
The airport is going on day six of massive cancellations. Hunt said she and 15 other family members were trying to fly to Punta Cana to celebrate her mom beating cancer. “We didn’t get a notification from Southwest until after midnight. The thing is we could have driven to Ft. Lauderdale because our Ft. Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic was not canceled,” Hunt said.
Southwest Airlines has had the most cancellations this weekend. Lines at their kiosk wrapped around the ticketing lobby all day Tuesday. For flyers like Joey Frank, it is his third day here trying to get on a flight.
“Our flights were originally canceled because the crew didn’t show up or they couldn’t get here,” Frank said. “Do you have any hope looking at this? Huh, well not really, just trying to see if we can get a refund at this point, because we can’t get a hold of southwest on the phone.”
At baggage claim, luggage keeps piling up. Travel agents say they arrived before their owners either by plane or truck. Some people retrieving their bags like Cathy Hively haven’t even stepped foot on a plane.
Hively drove from Texas to Kansas City only to have her flight canceled and have to drive to St. Louis to try again. Hively said that flight was canceled as well and they spent their Christmas day in the airport. “We drove to Columbus and now we have to drive back to St. Louis to drop our car back and hopefully catch a flight back to Kansas City where our car is at,” Hively said.
Southwest Airlines is calling this an operational problem. They sent us a statement which says in part:
“We were fully staffed and prepared for the approaching holiday weekend when the severe weather swept across the continent. We’re working with safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning crews.”
Southwest said they will be flying on a reduced schedule for the next couple days – meaning they will only be flying one third of their flights.
NBC4 asked Columbus airport officials for a comment, they said they have done everything they can on their end and referred me to the airlines.