ATLANTA - Hundreds of Delta Airlines travelers are still stranded in Atlanta on Sunday after a round of thunderstorms threw a wrench into its system earlier this week.
The airline said in a statement Saturday that approximately 275 flights have been canceled Saturday morning and additional cancelations are possible.
On Sunday, Delta canceled another 120 flights, but a spokesperson told FOX 5 that Delta is working around the clock to get back on schedule.
More than 3,000 flights have been canceled nationwide, following Wednesday's storms, which forced a ground stop at the world's busiest airport.
Ever since the big storm a couple of days ago it has been a nightmare waiting game for thousands of flight travelers at the world’s business airport and others nationwide. Delta said on its website, the busy spring break travel season has made rebookings for travelers difficult.
“When I got on the plane they say the planes delayed,” said Atlanta resident Kai Chen.
Chen said he and his family had had enough, opting to drive 16 hours from New York after their Delta flight to Atlanta was first delayed then canceled. Their baggage had been checked in but, was not in Atlanta when they arrived.
“You put the luggage on the plane and everything and now you gotta worry have they lost the luggage or something like that,” said Chen.
Passengers on Saturday said they were surprised to learn flights were still being canceled.
"It's a big mess right now. Obviously somebody in logistics couldn't manage this mess," said passenger Erica Douglas, whose flight to Miami was canceled, and landed in Atlanta on a stopover.
Delta apologized to its customer in a statement released Saturday morning:
Delta’s operation continues to recover as airline teams work around the clock to return flights to normal following the disruption from severe storms in the Southeastern U.S. and East Coast this week. Approximately 275 flights have been canceled Saturday morning, with some additional cancellations possible.
In a note to customers, Delta apologized for the disruption and continued difficulty reaccommodating those whose travel had been affected by the lingering impact of this week’s storms, which hampered the airline’s busiest hub in Atlanta.
Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer, also told customers Thursday, “We are grateful for your patience and want you to know that we, as always, learn from these experiences. While we can’t control the weather, we understand the resulting recovery has not been ideal and we apologize for that.”
Customers should check Delta.com and the Fly Delta Mobile App for updates on flight status. A travel waiver has been extended through the weekend to help customers rebook without change fees if travel plans are flexible.
Jim Schmitz said he was at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for what seems like an eternity, going from line to line, unable to catch a flight to nearby Birmingham.
“I was flying through Atlanta with a… to Birmingham and they sent my bag to Birmingham and not me so I've been here since Wednesday,” said Schmitz.
Many Delta passengers expressed the same frustration, in particular uncertainty about the whereabouts of their luggage which explains the long line near the Delta baggage claims Friday night.
Atlanta metro resident Keith Cawley was hoping to catch a flight to Washington D.C. later.
“I just checked my phone it's been delayed until 11:50 and so I could sit here until 11:50 just for them to tell me it's been canceled,” said Cawley.
Delta gave out these tips of 5 things customers should know about operations:
- Chief Operating Officer Gil West said Delta's recovery from storms this week has not been ideal
- You are entitled to a refund if your flight is cancelled and you do not travel.
- If your flight is canceled or delayed, you can manage rebooking options on the Fly Delta app
- Heavy spring break travel means open seats are very limited for rebooking.
- Delta people are working hard to stabilize the operation back to a reliable state.