Lots of flight cancellations, delays hit SFO, OAK airports

Thousands of air passengers are shaking after a series of flight delays and cancellations that disrupted their travel plans for the spring break over the weekend.

Flight tracking site FlightAware reports that as of Sunday morning, a total of 3,410 flights had been canceled and 8,851 flights were delayed nationwide. Of those disruptions, 33 cancellations and 215 delays were domestic flights to or out of San Francisco, and 17 cancellations and 101 delays were in or out of Oakland, resulting in lost weddings, baseball games and trips to Disney World, not to mention long wait times , where confused travelers tried to reach customer service.

“Yesterday was our biggest impact day,” said Bob Rotiski, an airport security chief at San Francisco International Airport. “This weekend was busy, which is great to see, but we also saw a lot of kids on their spring break from school and noticed some very hectic companions getting them all checked in.”

He estimated that about 58,000 passengers traveled through the airport over the weekend, observing lots of long queues, but he attributed them to high travel demand as the number of cases of COVID-19 decreases and people feel safer flying.

“It’s a peak period, but the airlines are doing a good job of getting the word out and getting people through as quickly as possible,” Rotiski said.

Southwest Airlines was hit hardest over the weekend, according to FlightAware data, which reported that 986 flights were canceled and 2,303 flights were delayed across the country. Most of these flights came from Orlando, Miami and Tampa, where the airline said “ongoing weather challenges” “affected several areas of our system”, leaving it with no choice but to stop its service early Saturday morning as it “worked” “to solve an intermittent technology problem,” according to a statement on its website.

The National Weather Service introduced a severe thunderstorm and a dense fog warning over the weekend.

“We offer our deepest apologies for the inconvenience and we will continue to work with customers who experience a disruption in their travel plans,” the airline said.

Passengers attempting to board aircraft on Saturday and Sunday were given the option to rebook a new aircraft within 14 days of their original departure date without paying an additional fee. Those with canceled flights were also told that they could request a refund.

This is not the first time Southwest has put a damper on its passengers’ travel plans. Last October, thousands of flights were canceled and delayed, reportedly due to weather-related challenges that began at its Florida airports, which were later exacerbated by unexpected air traffic control problems in the same region.

Other airlines, including Spirit Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue, also reported significant cancellations and delays during the busy weekend of the spring break.

“Over the past few days, severe weather in the Southeast and several air traffic control delay programs have created significant consequences for the industry,” a spokesman for JetBlue said in a statement. announcement. “Unfortunately we have had to cancel flights this weekend and today’s cancellations will help us reset our operation and safely move our crews and planes back into position. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and we are working to get them on their way as soon as possible. ”

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