Travel cancellations, delays continue at North Texas airports after storms

Image 1 of 5

Travelers at DFW Airport on Thursday continued to deal with the fallout from storms that blew through North Texas the day after Christmas.

There were still hundreds of cancellations and delays as of Thursday morning. According to Flight Aware, there have been 400 flight cancellations on Thursday at DFW Airport and 9 at Love Field.

The storms caused several problems on Wednesday. Planes that were landing at DFW Airport last night could not move off the tarmac and over to a gate because ramps were closed. People were left waiting on those planes for long periods of time -- even up until Thursday morning.

Each of the airlines said they were working to reunite passengers with their luggage and some bags were being re-routed to their final destination.

Lines of people waited for hours on Thursday morning at customer service counters trying to reschedule flights or make sure their scheduled flight will actually make it home.

One couple faced with a nerve-wracking dilemma.

“We had children that we were picking up that were supposed to be coming back into town. They are by themselves. They are 5 and 10 years old,” said Brett Burdette. “They were supposed to arrive at 7:30 last night. So we went and got a hotel waiting for them to come in today.”

Others saw post-Christmas travel plans being delayed.

“I had my phone turned down and didn't realize they canceled before we got here. We're going to California,” said Sharon Runge. “They rescheduled us until the 29th so I don't know what I'm going to do.”

Kamron Johnson has been trying to get to Fort Lauderdale since Wednesday night. He is a free safety for Northern Arizona University and is scheduled to play in the all-star senior bowl on Sunday — if he can just make it out of DFW Airport. Weather delays caused him to miss his connecting flight.

“It’s been a rough one. The weather’s caused a hectic trip for me,” he said. “I was really expecting smooth sailing. Excitement. Senior Bowl coming up. But now I’m here. 24 hours in the airport.”

Johnson says even if he makes it to Florida for the game, his football gear and luggage are still stuck in Phoenix.

Others are in similar situations. They are sleep-deprived, stranded and not sure if they’ll get a flight out.

“I didn’t want to spend three days in the airport, missing out on the holidays. New Year’s and all that,” said passenger Anthony Scott. “I have to go back to work the first of the year. So this is my time. This was my little vacation. I’m not trying to spend it in the airport.”

Others have been told because everything is booked for the holidays, it could be days until the next available flight.

Meanwhile, at Love Field Airport, there were a couple of thousands of bags waiting to be reunited with their owners.

The cancelations, delays and re-routed flyers resulted in a pile of unclaimed bags. Some passengers were frustrated but understanding.

“I love Southwest. I always fly them,” said Audia Davis. “But this has been a nightmare.”

Others were frustrated and angry. Ginny Long flew in from Florida to see kids. She was supposed to arrive at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Instead, she arrived in Dallas at 2 a.m. Thursday.

“They told me they have no idea where my bags are. And as you can see at this airport, there are bags everywhere,” Long said. “You are on your own. Find them yourself.”

Southwest released a statement that reads in part: “We’re working hard to reunite our customers with their checked baggage. Last night’s sustained storms disrupted travel plans as aircraft were diverted to airports across the region while Love Field was not accepting inbound traffic.”

A rep with the Allied Pilots Association says it’s also a challenge getting enough crews in the right places to get flights back on schedule.

“In the past, due to the weakness and overloading of the schedule, it takes days,” said Dennis Tajer with the pilot union. “It’s not a quick recovery. This is what happens when you don’t have effective scheduling practices.”

Despite this, some passengers are trying their best to keep a positive outlook.

“I learned from football I’ve got to embrace adversity,” Johnson said. “So I’m embracing it right now.”

American Airlines said if travelers need to rebook a flight, the best tool to use is their mobile app.