Utahns among thousands of travelers impacted by canceled flights

Dec 27, 2021, 1:46 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Like many airports across the country, the Salt Lake City International Airport is experiencing major travel disruptions during the busy holiday weekend.

As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, there were 185 delays and 43 cancelations in and out of SLC, according to flightaware.com.

Getting stuck at the airport is no fun year-round, but it can be even more stressful during the holidays when you’re trying to get home to see loved ones.

Samantha Stolworthy got the bad news about her flight to Orange County, California, from the Delta Air Lines app as she was on her way to the airport.

“It said oh yeah, by the way your flight’s canceled,” she said. “We moved you to an hour-earlier flight, which I would have missed regardless.”

Tracking down the next available flight was frustrating.

“You go to one ticket counter because you’re canceled with another flight and they won’t help you,” she said. “You can’t call them because it’s a four-hour hold time, so you’re kind of just in limbo.”

It’s been a nightmare for travelers like Stolworthy all across the country. Several airlines scrapped hundreds of flights due to COVID-19 staff shortages and bad weather.

“I read on KSL about the many cancelations and delays,” said Jarod Wallace. His family caught a break. They arrived home to Utah problem-free from Hawaii.

“We’re very thankful things went smooth for us,” he said.

Travel nightmare: Another 2,000 flights canceled Monday

Kaala Leoleo also traveled from Honolulu to Utah, and delays or cancelations didn’t mess up her plans.

“My sister is getting sealed in the LDS temple with her husband and son,” Leoleo said. “I didn’t notice until I saw red lights on the screen and I said oh my gosh and it just says Honolulu. So we were really blessed.”

But for Stolworthy, she said she has to go to Southern California to visit her dying father.

“Right now my only point of action is to drive there. So, I’ve got a nice 10-hour drive to California,” she said.

Airport managers can’t stress enough how important it is to plan ahead.

Before you leave for the airport, check with your airline for any possible delays or cancellations. Just expect the airport to be busy, get here at least two hours early to find parking, check in and get through TSA screening.

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Utahns among thousands of travelers impacted by canceled flights