Storm, understaffing blamed for dozens of American Airline cancellations, delays at PHL

Monday, June 24, 2024
Philadelphia airport delays leave passengers stranded, frustrated
Storm, understaffing blamed for dozens of American Airline cancellations, delays at PHL

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Dozens of flights were canceled and delayed at Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday.

The vast majority of these were American Airlines flights.

Many people ended up camped out and sleeping on the floor at PHL.

Sunday night's bumpy weather played a role for sure, but it turned out that most of those issues involved American Airlines, and the result was hundreds and hundreds of frustrated travelers.

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Regina Carini, from Connecticut, has been trying to get to Salt Lake City since Sunday. She says she's missing a wedding and having trouble getting refunds on her car and hotel rentals.

While it remains unclear why American Airlines operations were hit so hard, the customers we spoke with say it seems to have been a perfect storm of bad weather, understaffing, and lackluster communication.

Kayla Hayden was supposed to fly to Seattle on Sunday to catch an ocean cruise to Alaska with her family that sails off on Tuesday. Not only is she unsure if she'll make it, she has no idea where her luggage is.

"We have no clothes. I have none of my bags -- two are on a flight to Seattle. I don't know which ones are in Seattle and which ones are lost here."

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Meanwhile, Keith Johnson and Kayla Renart just want to go home to Phoenix.

"So, I got a manager and I was like, 'Hey, I understand we can't get a flight out right now, but like what are we supposed to do?' He goes, 'That's a rhetorical question.' And I go, 'No, it's a pretty direct question, like, what are we supposed to do?' And he's like, 'Out of my hands. That's a rhetorical question.' And then hung up the phone," recalls Johnson.

Action News received an email update from American Airlines, which basically says their baggage departments are fully staffed Monday and they expect to have everything resolved over the next several hours.

Meanwhile, another reason for these issues is the sheer volume of travelers across the country on Sunday.

The TSA reported they broke the record for the most people screened in a single day, with 2.99 million people screened on Sunday alone.