SAN DIEGO — There’s mass confusion and frustration at San Diego International Airport, with travelers waiting for hours in long lines to find out when they can fly out after ongoing flight delays and cancelations.
Most of those are with Southwest Airlines, which announced early Monday afternoon that it is canceling all flights at the airport for the rest of the day.
On Southwest’s website, flights cannot be booked until Dec. 31 at the earliest. Flights out of Los Angeles-area airports are experiencing similar issues as well.
You can check the latest flight status information here.
Matt Anderson and his family were supposed to get back home to Denver four days ago after three canceled flights. They’re now driving home in a rental car.
“We got a confirmation, if they give us one, we’re going to drive 17 hours,” Anderson said. “I think that’s our only option at this point.”
Vanessa Ohm says her family, trying to get home to Oceanside, got stuck flying back from Pittsburgh.
“We flew to Vegas and our flight was canceled and we had to rent a vehicle and we just drove four hours and we’re here to pick up our luggage, I have no idea where our luggage is,” Ohm said.
Many waited for hours Monday, after waiting for hours Sunday — some having to stay the night at the airport. Holden Sanchez was going from Sacramento, home to Austin, Texas, and got stuck in San Diego two days ago.
“Slept in the airport two nights ago, then had a 6 a.m. flight out the next day, that flight was delayed for 12 hours waiting for one stewardess. Stewardess shows up, get on the plane, they take us down to the end of the runway, the flight gets called back because the pilot is technically met his 12-hour work day because we had a 6 a.m. flight. Come back, spend the night at a hotel, have a reboot today, it’s been delayed for over four hours. I’m lucky enough to have friends in the greater Los Angeles area so I am calling one up to come pick me up and I’m leaving, I’m done,” Sanchez said.
Southwest released a statement saying in part:
“With consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our customers and employees in a significant way that is unacceptable. We’re working with safety at the forefront to urgently address wide-scale disruption by rebalancing the airline and repositioning crews and our fleet, ultimately to best serve all who plan to travel with us.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation responded to the incident via Twitter, saying that they are “concerned by Southwest’s unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays & reports of lack of prompt customer service.”
“The Department will examine whether cancellations were controllable and if Southwest is complying with its customer service plan,” USDOT said.
However, there was some good news out of this as members of the San Diego Harbor Police Department were caught on video helping feed stranded travelers the night after Christmas.
“Harbor PD took it upon themselves to provide dinner & drinks as we waited in extremely long lines for hours. Thank you HPD Officers! Merry Christmas!” @GBTHEUSA tweeted Monday.
FOX 5’s Domenick Candelieri contributed to this story.