DENVER (CBS4) – Most foot traffic at Denver International Airport Sunday morning was moving smoothly. The Southwest Airlines ticket counter it was a different story. Long lines and stranded travelers crowded the hallway.
Don was one of them. He is trying to get from Connecticut to Las Vegas.
“We basically came into the airport in Hartford this morning and the flight was actually canceled,” he said.
He’s been improvising his vacation ever since.
“From the moment they told us in Hartford ‘I was thinking about what we do next,” he said. “Let’s book us here to Denver and then we will see if we can get a connected flight somehow to Vegas.”
He wasn’t the only one stranded. More than 1,000 Southwest flights were canceled nationally; more than 100 were in Denver. Other flights were delayed, creating long waits and lots of frustration.
Ryan Lacey is trying to go on a family trip to Disney World, but his flight was also canceled. Now they are trying like everyone else to find a new flight.
“We were on hold for about three and a half hours now, we’re probably two hours into waiting in line and another hour before we get there,” Lacey said. “We’re going to get there. When? I don’t know.”
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
Southwest Airlines said in a tweet air traffic control issues and weather are responsible for delays, but passengers have heard something different.
“I was told it was maybe a crew issue basically,” Don said.
Southwest Airlines has not confirmed any staffing problems, but the FAA says it is not experiencing shortages with its air traffic controllers.
Either way, neither Don or Lacey are going to let this ruin their vacation.
“Right now, she just booked us on another flight to LA then LA to Vegas,” Don said.
Lacey says his family is staying in Orlando for a week, so he isn’t in a huge hurry to get there.
“If we show up late, we show up late,” he said.
At around 5 p.m., DIA warned of long lines at TSA. They urged travelers to arrive at least two hours ahead of their flight.
We are experiencing busy TSA security lines at DEN. Please arrive at DEN at least two hours in advance of your boarding time. TSA Pre✓ is located at the South Checkpoint. Thank you for your patience!
— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) October 10, 2021