FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Over the weekend, dozens of flights were canceled across the country due to the bad weather.
As of Monday morning, a total of 23 flights were canceled at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and a total of 100 flights were canceled at Miami International Airport.
According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, there have been more than 3,800 flight cancellations around the country since Friday and hundreds of delays.
“I was supposed to take a connecting flight from JFK to Fort Lauderdale at 11 a.m., but it was delayed until 1 p.m., and I was lucky enough to get onto a 7 a.m. flight,” one traveler said.
“We were traveling to Orlando today, but unfortunately, my flight got canceled,” one traveler said.
“I got a text message saying the flight was canceled as we were pulling up to LaGuardia,” one woman said.
For Kanika Wilkerson, it has been a miserable 24-plus hours.
“Terrible, I have never in my life experienced — and I mean I’ve traveled on Memorial Day,” said Wilkerson. “I’m on my fourth canceled flight.”
After spending a few days celebrating her birthday in Mexico, she’s spent the last day and a half at Miami International Airport trying to make her way back home to North Carolina. She recorded video on her cell phone showing the line for rebooking flights on Monday for American Airlines at MIA.
There have also been issues for those flying in and out of FLL, with Delta delays at the top of the list of cancellations.
Ten percent of Delta flights have been canceled.
Delta Chief Customer Service Officer Allison Ausband released a statement that read, “Weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years.”
As of Monday evening, MIA has become a makeshift hotel for many families who are just trying to get back home.
“It’s very difficult to stay here because it’s on the floor, and we don’t have many things, and we didn’t know the flight was cancelled,” said Isabella Cardoza.
The family said the airline told them, due to bad weather, their flight back to Honduras was cancelled this Memorial Day.
“It’s very stressful,” said Cardoza.
They’re definitely not the only ones feeling that stress.
A spokesperson for MIA told 7News they’ve had close to 170 flights delayed and another 240 cancelled.
“Today is not going to happen anymore,” said Vernon Chumdro. “I have to go get a hotel and then maybe come back tomorrow early in the morning again.”
Chumdro is trying to get back to his home in the Caribbean after spending the holiday weekend in Atlanta. He said bad weather forced him to take a later flight out of Georgia, which made him miss his connecting flight in Miami.
“When they cancelled my flight in Atlanta because of the weather, they said it’s not their fault, ‘We are not going to give accommodations or anything,'” said Chumdro.
Olti Mimani and his friends are figuring out how to get back to Boston after his American Airlines flight got cancelled.
“They gave us a couple of options, but they are on Wednesday, and we can’t wait here till Wednesday, so I don’t know. We are thinking maybe renting a car and driving to Boston at this point,” said Mimani.
For now, those whose long weekends became even longer are just hoping to get some answers soon.
“We have families, I have kids, you know, I have to get back to. I don’t know we’ll see what’s going to happen,” said Mimani.
On the road, high gas prices are troubling travelers but not stopping them.
AAA expects this Memorial Day weekend to be the busiest travel-wise in two years, with 34.9 million people traveling by car — that’s up 4.6% compared to last year.
“It just sucks, you know,” said Ruben Llamas who lives in Southern California, “because we have to spend money on the Airbnb, your food and now we have to consider travel.
California leads the nation with the highest gas prices at $6.13 a gallon. That tops the national average of $4.61, which is the highest ever reported nationally.
A year ago, the national average was only $3.04. There is no sign of the price increase slowing down.
“I don’t foresee oil prices really dropping all that dramatically, and if more people are hitting the road and you have this sort of increase in demand at gas stations, you could see these prices stay high throughout all of summer and into the fall,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross.
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