Winter weather and staffing shortages lead to travel headaches for Metro Detroit flyers

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 07:26:55-05

(WXYZ) — More than 1,600 flights across the country and into and out of the united states have been canceled for today.

This coming after the New Year's weekend where passengers and airlines saw more than 5,000 flight cancellations. Now, a massive east coast storm could bring even more travel disruptions across the Mid-Atlantic.

Early this morning 21 flights flying out of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport had been canceled and 28 flights flying into Detroit had been canceled as well.

Thousands of flyers, now stuck at the airport creating chaos for airlines and those just trying to get home.

Robert Lopez rang in the New Year with his family in Texas, but his journey to get back home to Detroit was a bust.

"We were supposed to be here yesterday at this time," he said.

Lopez's flight was delayed more than two hours, so when he finally landed at his layover his connecting flight was already in the air.

"It was just really stressful," Lopez said.

As of late Sunday night, the number of canceled flights began to climb.

Canceled flights:

  • American Airlines:160 flights, or 5%
  • Delta Airlines: 177 flights, or 6%
  • Southwest Airlines: 429 flights,
  • United Airlines: 114 flights, or 5%.

Ian and Alexa Harrison decided to take a different route rather than being at the mercy of flight cancellations.

"We just need to get home, so we got in a rental car and started driving," the couple said.

The Harrison's said they boarded their flight back to Detroit from New Orleans only to have to get off an hour later.

"Long story short the pilot called in sick, they lined up a second pilot who was going to end up maxing out on his flight hours for the day," they said.

Theresa Winters, a travel agent says when traveling in 2022 expect the unexpected.

"I mean it's very much knowing and researching and kind of being on edge. Waiting for that phone to ring for something maybe going wrong," Winters said.

Winters says between canceled flights and new COVID regulations things are always changing. So she advises flyers to take an earlier flight out.

"You're less likely to have delays," she said.