Severe weather, staffing issues cause Memorial Day weekend flight cancellations, delays
There were a lot of headaches this Memorial Day weekend at airports nationwide with airlines canceling or delaying hundreds of flights because of weather or crew problems.
Experts say there could be more delays or cancellations on Memorial Day Monday as the airline industry recovers from severe weather and crew shortages.
Tania Lopes' flight back from Orlando on Delta was nearly an hour behind schedule, and landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday afternoon. Luckily, she says her flight actually took off.
Delta and other airlines canceled as many as 900 flights Sunday and a lot of others faced delays. The airlines blamed bad weather and crew scheduling problems as the culprit, and travel agents say it couldn't have come at a worse time.
"It's one of our busiest travel weeks that we've had in almost two years," said Matthew Kondrup, with Matty K Travel Group.
Kondrup says this weekend's full flights, industry-wide staffing problems and severe weather turned Memorial Day air travel into the perfect storm. He says he has a lot of clients stuck or majorly delayed across the country. But some travelers say their flight was uneventful.
"We heard about tremendous delays on Delta, but we weren't delayed at all and we came from Portland," said Alec Ornstein, of Huntington.
Travel agents say if you're flying Monday to monitor your itinerary carefully as some airlines are canceling flights up to a day before take-off.
"The No. 1 thing I say is pack your patience, keep an eye on your smartphone and the app keep up to date with the flight and weather and delays - leave plenty of time," said Kondrup.