FORT MYERS, Fla. — Suitcase wheels screeching and feet shuffling throughout RSW. Passengers were eager to get back home, but some learned their flight was canceled.
Southwest Airlines canceled a lot of flights recently.
Susan Fries said she is lucky she and her husband could get a seat on the flight back home.
"I think it was the last two seats, but a least we got on it," she said.
Fries and her husband were supposed to be in Chicago to head home Sunday, but their flight was pushed.
"I am supposed to be at work today, so that's one thing. We are very lucky. I tell you, I felt really bad for the families who have kids that they need to get home to or the kids who needed to get back to school," Fries said.
For Alma Tovar, the cancellations and delays were a major inconvenience — as life back home awaits.
"I have things to do," she said. "I don't like that."
Southwest Airlines took to Twitter, releasing a statement. They said it was a combination of air traffic control issues and weather issues.
ATC issues and disruptive weather have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend while we work to recover our operation. We appreciate your patience as we accommodate affected Customers, and Customer Service wait times are longer than usual. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/o1scQJ5lLb— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 9, 2021
We checked for any air traffic control delays, but everything was normal.
Delays are not just a Southwest Airlines issue. This could be the beginning of a bigger trend as the holiday season looms.
"We've seen delays, cancellations, you know, since this recovery from the pandemic and it's unfortunate that it might happen again, as we head into the holiday season," Mark Jenkins, AAA Representative, said.
He said your best bet is booking well ahead of your travel dates.
"If you are planning on flying, it's best to book by the end of the month because you'll start seeing flights filling up and you might not get the itinerary you want," he said. "It's really good to go ahead and lock in those travel plans sooner rather than later to make sure that you get the flight you want at the best price possible."
He also said you might want to price something else — a policy to cover the cost of cancellations and delays.
"It's a really good idea to start looking at travel insurance for your flights because there are different policies out there that could reimburse you for those unexpected out-of-pocket expenses like food transportation, or even if you have to stay overnight in a hotel," he said.
Jenkins said patience and being prepared will be key this holiday season.