Travelers concerned as flights continue to be canceled across the country

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
FILE: Airport flight status board showing canceled flights at RSW. (Credit: WINK News)

Airlines canceled hundreds of flights across the country on Sunday due to winter weather and staff calling out sick.

The COVID-19 omicron variant is stopping many travelers from making it home for the holidays, including here in Southwest Florida.

Travelers say they are frustrated that it is taking them hours to get home, and all the cancellations and delays have left passengers concerned if their flight will be next.

Wright B. George, from Fort Myers, ran into that issue on his way home. “We’re 24 hours late getting back here to Fort Myers.”

George got stuck twice due to the weather as he tried to make it back from Colorado.

“We ended up in Denver trying to get to Milwaukee. That flight was delayed eight hours because of weather and maintenance. So we had to buy a hotel room spent the night in Denver,” said George.

According to FlightAware, more than 1,000 flights were canceled on Sunday, and more than 5,000 were delayed.

George said, “I can’t imagine traveling given delays of 8-10 hours. That’s got to be extremely frustrating for the parents and more frustrating for the children.”

At Southwest Florida International Airport, there were 14 cancellations and 130 delays.

Waiting for one of those delayed flights was Amy Moreno. She wants to get home to St. Louis. “It’s stressing me out. It keeps changing every time I’m looking at my phone. So I’m trying not to look at the phone anymore.”

Regardless of the flight status, people said they just wanted to get home.

“It’s the holidays. We know what to expect, so just come a little earlier and have patience,” said Tamara Michelin from Connecticut.

Moreno said, “hopefully, all goes well in my flight home.”

Parking was also an issue the last few days. The latest update from RSW is that there is parking available. You can click here to check the most current parking conditions at the airport.

RSW encourages passengers to arrive two hours before departure to beat the crowds.

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