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Travel troubles for airline passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Airlines spent Monday attempting to play catch up after a weekend filled with cancelations and delays at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

“The agents that were at the counter were equally as frustrated because they had a lot of upset customers like myself,” said Donna Denglere, of San Francisco.

Denglere’s connecting flight home to San Francisco was canceled over the weekend. Then it was canceled again on Monday, and she lost her luggage in the process.

Ron Cochran, of Powder Springs, dropped off his wife for a trip back home to Columbia but her flight was canceled.

“These international flights, those are the ones you don’t want to miss. She’s got about six bags,” said Cochran.

Cochran says she was put on standby for another flight and it turns out, she’s not alone.

Data from FlightAware.com show airlines big and small, including Atlanta-based Delta, canceled nearly 5,000 flights and delayed thousands more from Thursday to Sunday. Delta and other airlines cite a pilot shortage for the delays.

“Well, I’m having to stay here in Atlanta an extra night which was totally unanticipated,” said Denglere. “[It’s] not planned and I’m not happy about it. I have like barely any sleep.”

As frustrations spill over into Monday, Kyle Potter, editor of Thrifty Traveler, says passengers need to be proactive. He recommends trying to pick an earlier flight. He says airlines typically get their first flight of the day off the ground on time but as the day goes on, delays and cancelations can pile up. Also, avoid connecting flights and he says try not to check a bag.

Peyton Rowe, of Atlanta, travels often for work. Her advice is to check out neighboring airports if your flight is canceled. She says it might be worth an Uber ride.

“Always keep that list close so you can check your options on your app. I would also say definitely keep the app handy,” Rowe Said.

It’s also a good idea to make sure whatever airline app you’re using is open and running in the background of your phone so you’ll receive real-time updates on your flight.

As for the pilot shortage, Delta has said they’re hiring 200 plus a month and training 400 to 500 pilots every month.