‘Christmas nightmare’ begins to affect PBIA passengers’ New Year’s resolutions

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Flight delays and cancellations continue to plague travelers across the country, and Palm Beach International Airport is no exception.

There were nearly 100 delays and more than a dozen cancellations at PBIA on Tuesday. But WPTV spoke to many travelers who were dealing with weekend flight cancellations at the airport.

“The tables are set and waiting for everyone to come so we can have Christmas someday,” an Air Canada passenger told WPTV three days after Christmas.

“My child’s flight was canceled on Christmas morning. No information was given,” she said. “We struggled for days trying to find a flight to Florida so had to separate the kids. I’ve been on the phone for about eight hours over the past two days.”

related: Southwest’s travel woes continue as airline cancels 2,500 flights Tuesday

Passengers wait to retrieve their luggage at a Southwest Airlines baggage counter after a flight was canceled at Los Angeles International Airport, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022.

(AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

Passengers wait to retrieve their luggage at a Southwest Airlines baggage counter after a flight was canceled at Los Angeles International Airport, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022.

PBIA’s customer service line was on the rise on Tuesday. south west traveler Said they got a busy signal when they called the airline after finding out their flight scheduled for Thursday had been cancelled.

A Southwest Airlines passenger told WPTV: “It’s ridiculous to find out about this two days early. And there’s no other flight until Monday. I don’t understand why they’re not answering the phone or helping us.”

There were more than 5,000 cancellations across the country on Tuesday alone.

Travel and aviation expert Peter Trabucco said Christmas week was a perfect storm, as weather delays combined with increased travelers and understaffed airlines.

“Unfortunately, since the pandemic, we’ve been short of pilots. We’ve been short of flight attendants, we’ve been short of aircraft that need maintenance,” Trabucco said.

Travel and aviation expert Peter Trabucco

Danielle Schitt/WPTV

Travel and aviation expert Peter Trabucco explains why travel is woes.

related: Do airlines need to provide refunds, hotel rooms when flights are cancelled?

At this rate, passengers told WPTV they only want to get home until 2023.

According to the dashboard, DOT asks all airlines to offer refunds when flights are canceled for any reason.

You can request a refund through the airline’s website.

As for reimbursement for additional expenses, Southwest announced it will accommodate “reasonable requests” for meals, hotels and other transportation.