Thousands of flights were canceled in the United States over the weekend, leaving Spring Breakers stranded for hours. Some were canceled due to inclement weather, while some Southwest flights were grounded owing to technical concerns.
According to FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, almost 3,500 flights in the United States were canceled this weekend.
Spring breakers have been fleeing to Florida airports for weeks, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando, as well as Baltimore, New York, and other airports across the country, according to the site.
According to FlightAware, JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Spirit, and American Airlines were the most affected, with JetBlue and Spirit canceling a third of Sunday's scheduled flights.
Storms were reported in Florida on Saturday, according to local news. Several airlines reported that operations have returned to normal on Sunday.
The disruptions came as air transport was beginning to recover after the pandemic, with high demand for spring break trips.
Travelers on social media complained of being delayed for days after their flights were canceled and they had to wait on hold or in lines for hours to get them rescheduled.
'This will be our sleeping quarters for the night. Thanks, Southwest. @SouthwestAir,' one tourist sarcastically observed in a Twitter post that included a photo of two people sitting awkwardly on hard airport seats, their legs pushed up on the seats opposite from them.
Another tagged Southwest in a photo of his mother lying next to many luggage on Twitter, pointing out that they had nowhere to sleep.
Thank you for showing me how to set up a homeless camp for my mother because we can't find a motel in Austin and won't be able to get to Dallas until tomorrow. But most importantly, thank you for the one blanket you allowed us to borrow so we didn't have to sleep on the tile. 'You're the greatest.'
In an email, a JetBlue representative stated, 'Severe weather in the Southeast and several air traffic control delay initiatives have had substantial impacts on the industry.' 'Today's cancellations will assist us in resetting our operation and safely repositioning our staff and aircraft.'
Southwest Airlines claimed 'weather and airspace congestion as well as a 'technical issue' in Florida on Saturday. Almost every year, it canceled over 1,000 flights on the weekend.
Southwest said in a statement over the weekend that the delays and cancellations occurred because of "intermittent technical difficulties" that occurred "after routine overnight maintenance."
'We apologize deeply for any disruption caused to our customers and express our gratitude to our employees who are working tirelessly to make amends.' Customers whose journeys with us today may be delayed as a result of the now-resolved issues will continue to receive updates.'
Alaska Airlines appeared to be having its problems. Additionally than 37,000 customers have been affected by weekend flight cancellations since Friday, according to the airline, and more cancellations are possible.
The airline didn't disclose why the flights were canceled, but it did note in a statement that it was due to contract disputes with its pilots.
Off-duty pilots demonstrated in several cities throughout the United States on Friday in protest of stalled negotiations. For the past three years, they have been without a new contract.
'Alaska Airlines failed to effectively plan for growing travel demand and take the actions necessary to ensure it attracted and retained pilots,' according to a news release issued by the pilots union on Friday.