Canceled flights cause headaches for South Florida travelers

6,000 canceled flights across U.S. on Memorial Day weekend
Posted at 3:51 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 15:51:07-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Thousands of flights across the U.S. were canceled this holiday weekend, causing chaos and major headaches for air travelers.

There were a few cancellations at Palm Beach International Airport but at Fort Lauderdale and Miami more than 100 flights were scrubbed, leaving many passengers stranded.

For the most part, it was business as usual at PBIA on Monday for those who decided to travel for the holiday.

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"It was good. Everything went smooth, no delays," Duncan Evans, a traveler at PBIA, said.

But the holiday travels did not go as planned for Olivia Johnson.

Olivia Johnson, Memorial Day traveler at PBIA
Olivia Johnson explains the travel troubles she experienced trying to fly out of Fort Lauderdale this weekend

"It's been really bad," Johnson said.

She was among those impacted by canceled flights.

"I was at my gate getting ready to get on the plane, and they canceled the flight," Johnson said.

She's been trying to get back home to Pittsburgh since Sunday morning.

After multiple delays and a canceled flight in Fort Lauderdale, she's hoping to have better luck departing from PBIA.

Amy and Cliff Metaxen shared the same frustrations.

Amy Metaxen, Memorial Day traveler
Amy Metaxen explains the travel troubles she and her husband experienced while visiting South Florida this Memorial Day weekend.

"We got there, got checked in after several delays," Amy Metaxen said. "They canceled our flight, closed the airport last night, thousands of people there, no instructions, nobody really knowing what to do."

The busy holiday weekend saw more than 6,000 canceled flights across the U.S. Delta Airlines had the most scrubbed flights with more than 120 alone on Monday.

The company said weather and air traffic control issues were to blame, and those impacted would receive travel waivers.

"This Memorial Day weekend is the busiest we've seen since 2019," Laura Reece of Reece Worldwide Travel said.

Laura Reece, Reece Worldwide Travel
Travel expert Laura Reece offers travel advice for those flying this summer.

With so many cancellations ahead of the official start of summer, travel experts say it's best to book early morning flights and avoid waiting until the last minute.

"Your best bet is to fly early in the day, and if your first flights are canceled then at least you have one or two [other] flights that you could be put on later in the day to get you to that next destination," Reece said.

Travel agents also stressed the importance of paying those few extra dollars for travel insurance, which is covered in the event your flight is interrupted due to weather.