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Numerous flight cancellations and delays hit SFO and OAK airports

Thousands of air passengers are scrambling after a slew of flight delays and cancellations disrupted their spring break travel plans over the weekend.

Flight tracking site FlightAware reports that as of Sunday morning, a total of 3,410 flights were canceled and 8,851 flights were delayed nationwide. Of those disruptions, 33 cancellations and 215 delays were domestic flights to or from San Francisco, and 17 cancellations and 101 delays were to or from Oakland, resulting in missed weddings, baseball games and travel. at Disney World, not to mention a long wait. times as exhausted travelers tried to reach customer service.

“Yesterday was our most significant day,” said Bob Rotiski, service manager at San Francisco International Airport. “It’s been a busy weekend, which is nice to see, but we also saw a lot of kids on their spring break and noticed very frantic attendants checking them all in.”

He estimated that around 58,000 passengers passed through the airport over the weekend and saw many long queues, but he attributed these to high travel demand as COVID-19 case rates 19 decrease and people feel safer while flying.

“It’s a peak time for travel, but the airlines are doing a good job of getting the word out and getting people through as quickly as possible,” Rotiski said.

Southwest Airlines was the hardest hit over the weekend, according to FlightAware data, which reports 986 flights were canceled and 2,303 flights were delayed across the country. Most of those flights originated from Orlando, Miami and Tampa, where the airline said ‘ongoing weather challenges’ were ‘impacting multiple areas of our system’, leaving it with no choice but to fly. to shut down its service early Saturday morning as it “worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue,” according to a statement posted on its website.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch and dense fog advisory over the weekend.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and will continue to work with customers experiencing disruption to their travel plans,” the airline said.

Passengers attempting to board flights on Saturday and Sunday were given the option to rebook a new flight within 14 days of their original departure date without paying an additional fee. Those whose flights have been canceled have also been told they can request a refund.

This isn’t the first time Southwest has put the brakes on its passengers’ travel plans. Last October, thousands of flights were canceled and delayed, reportedly due to weather-related problems that began at its Florida airports, which were then exacerbated by unexpected air traffic control problems in the same region. .

Other airlines, including Spirit Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue, also reported significant cancellations and delays over the busy Spring Break weekend.

“Over the past few days, extreme weather conditions in the Southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs have created significant impacts on the industry,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement. declaration. “We unfortunately had to cancel flights over the weekend, and today’s cancellations will help us reset our operations and get our crews and planes back in place safely. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and are working to get them up and running as quickly as possible. »

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