A woman allegedly suffered a heart attack at an airport in North Carolina after rushing to a changed gate during a chaotic weekend of travel.
A concerned mother took to Twitter Sunday after her 17-year-old son was among the thousands of passengers impacted by delays and cancellations at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Friday.
The mom said her son was flying to make his connection to Raleigh-Durham International Airport but was met with two cancelled flights and multiple last minute gate changes.
She claims another traveler, an unidentified woman, ‘had a heart attack in front of him after running to a new gate.’
After the traumatic experience at the Charlotte airport, the woman claims her teenaged son then spent hours sitting on a plane only to have the flight cancelled.
‘I drove over 350 miles to get him home,’ she stated. ‘And we still don’t have his checked bag. Going to have to drive back to RDU to pick it up since they won’t pick up a phone or call me back.’
It is unclear what happened to the woman who suffered the cardiac episode.
More than 900 flights were cancelled on Sunday, leaving travelers stranded across the United States, according to Flight Aware. Over 200 routes scheduled for Monday have already been axed.
After the traumatic experience at the Charlotte airport, the mom claims her teenaged son then spent hours sitting on a plane only to have the flight cancelled
Irritated passengers have taken to Twitter calling out airlines for hours-long delays and cancellations that have left children sleeping on filthy airport floors.
Those lucky enough to board their flights have cited long waits on the tarmac, including one traveler flying into New York City who claimed he was stuck on a plane for more than 90 minutes after landing.
Airline customers and workers alike have reported chaos at the airports since the start of the summertime travel surge. Air carriers allege the demand for travel has soared to pre-pandemic levels, yet staffing remains strained after mass COVID-19 fueled layoffs.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data revealed the number of people flying on Friday and Saturday nearly equaled the same number of those who flew on the same days in 2019.
Meantime, the ongoing trends of frustrated travelers and high number of cancellations has pushed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to tell airline executives to clean up their act and avoid another flying catastrophe before July 4.
A concerned mother called out Delta airlines late Sunday night after her daughter was forced to sleep on an airport floor (pictured) after a series of cancellations and delays. Delta fared the worst of the American airlines on Sunday with six percent of its total flights canceled
Irritated passengers have taken to Twitter calling out airlines for hours-long delays and cancellations. One traveler alleged he sat on the tarmac at New York City’s JFK airport for 90 minutes after his flight landed on Sunday (pictured)
More than 200 flights have already been cancelled for Monday, with Delta Airlines yet again being the hardest hit.
Delta fared the worst of the American airlines on Sunday with six percent of its total flights canceled. As of 1.30am, one percent of its Monday routes had already been axed. Another one percent have been delayed.
United Airlines has also already cancelled one percent of its Monday flights, according to FlightAware. The air carrier saw three percent of its flights canceled and four percent delayed on Sunday.
American Airlines had five percent of its flights delayed on Sunday. The air carrier has not yet reported any disruptions to Monday’s routes.
Among the worst hit airports over the weekend were Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, Georgia; John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York City; Charlotte-Douglas International in North Carolina and the Chicago O’Hare airport.
Monday’s trouble is expected to take place at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and JFK, both of which service the greater NYC area.
The continued travel anguish comes after a total of 8,900 delays and 1,470 cancelation thwarted US travels on Friday and more than 1,700 were canceled on Thursday amid storms in the southeast and northeast.
Since then, there have been more than 4,000 flights canceled across the U.S.
In an effort to aid in the ongoing travel disruptions, ride share provider Uber is now allowing travelers to pre-book their airport transfer up to 30 days in advance at several destinations.
The pre-booking move comes as airports have seen a huge influx of passengers. According to Travel Off Path, Uber users have been experiencing excessively long delays and wait times at airports.
A concerned mother (pictured) took to Twitter Sunday after her 17-year-old son was among the thousands of passengers impacted by delays and cancellations at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Friday
The feature, known as Uber Reserve, will be available to flyers at more than 55 global hub airports. Thirty-nine of those airports are in the U.S.
However, despite the efforts of airlines and other travel industry providers, such as Uber, disruptions have become the norm for most American vacationers.
Charlotte-Douglas airport did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on the alleged heart attack incident.
The North Carolina teen’s story echoes that of several other passengers left stranded over the weekend.
Concerned mother Nikki Webber called out Delta Airlines for selling tickets for flights they allegedly don’t have the workforce to staff.
A North Carolina mom alleged her son witnessed a woman suffer a heart attack at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport after rushing to her gate after a last minute change over the weekend. The Charlotte airport, which saw hundreds of disruptions over the weekend, is pictured on Sunday
A group of kids are pictured sitting on the floor at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport early Sunday morning
‘If you don’t have enough pilots, stop selling all of the flights,’ Webber tweeted, sharing a photo of her young daughter sleeping on an airport floor late Sunday.
‘I would rather pay more and arrive on time so my kids aren’t sleeping on the disgusting airport floor in the middle of the night waiting for your pilots to arrive.’
Another social media user called out Delta after alleging that although his flight to New York’s JFK airport took off, he was stuck waiting on the tarmac for 90 minutes after arriving in the Big Apple.
‘I landed 90 minutes ago and haven’t moved,’ he penned. ‘@Delta I wouldn’t wish you on my worst enemy.’
Frustrated passengers took to Twitter Sunday to slam Delta over its handling of the chaos unfolding at airports across the nation
Similarly, an associate professor at Hunter College in NYC said he was met with an eight-hour wait when trying to speak with a ‘ticketing support specialist’ about his travel disruptions.
‘This is unbelievable, Delta. 8 HOURS?!’ Josh Plotnik slammed.
Delta has has vowed to cut its service by about 100 flights per day from July 1 to August 7 in an effort to combat ongoing staffing shortages.
Earlier this month, CEO Ed Bastian said the air carrier has been actively hiring new workers over the past year after more than 17,000 employees left the company in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
As of early June, Delta Airlines reported it had hired more than 15,000 workers in the last year but stated it was still not enough to meet the soaring travel demand.
Over the weekend, two television meteorologists used their Twitter platforms to discuss the hardships the disruptions are causing travelers.
Nathan Scott, who works at KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas, shared how he was one of the many Delta passengers to get stranded over the weekend.
Nathan Scott, who works at KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas, shared how he was one of the many Delta passengers to get stranded over the weekend. He is pictured with his new bride
Scott and his new bride were met with a bad ending to their ‘great honeymoon’ after being trapped at Delta’s hub in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday night
Scott and his new bride were met with a bad ending to their ‘great honeymoon’ after being trapped at Delta’s hub in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday night.
He said they were waiting to go home to Little Rock but the airline ultimately cancelled their flight, leaving the newlyweds ‘not happy.’
Similarly, in a series of tweets over the weekend, Shel Winkley, a meteorologist for KBTX News, shared how he struggled to arrive at – and later get home from – an American Meteorological Society Broadcast Conference in Milwaukee.
The Texas meteorologist was stuck in Milwaukee and Chicago for two full days after his American Airlines flights back home were canceled a total of six times.
Winkley’s saga began Monday when he first faced a four-hour delay from Dallas-Fort Worth to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.
After he finally arrived in the area, he said, a large storm was slamming Milwaukee, and the captain had to circle around the tarmac several times – until eventually he announced: ‘We don’t have enough gas, we’re heading for Madison.’
They then sat on the tarmac in Madison, Wisconsin for a while as they waited for the storms to pass, and he finally arrived at Milwaukee at 7pm, but once again had to wait because his luggage was put on a later flight.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Shel Winkley (pictured napping at the airport) a meteorologist for KBTX News, shared how he struggled to arrive at – and later get home from – an American Meteorological Society Broadcast Conference in Milwaukee.
Massive flight delays and cancelations continued for a fourth day on Sunday
Winkley was originally expected to arrive in the area at 12.40pm, he wrote.
That would have been enough for the traveling meteorologist, but as he tried to head home on Friday, his flight scheduled to leave at 5.30pm starts getting pushed back to 7pm.
Soon, the plane arrived on the tarmac, he said, and people started to deplane, but they are not allowed to get on.
The captain later explained: ‘There’s a malfunction, I don’t feel comfortable flying the plane.’
His flight was then delayed until 8.30am, and Winkley got a hotel room, but at 12am he received a push notification that the flight is once again delayed until 11.45am.
So on Saturday morning, he tweeted that he saw the plane parked at the gate at the Milwaukee airport, but officials announced it would be another four to five hours to install a new part on the plane – a control valve, which he wrote ‘controls how fast the plane goes.’
At that point, he said, American Airline officials offered the passengers a bus to the Chicago O’Hare airport – about an hour and a half away.
Two hours after arriving, Winkley wrote, the plane arrived – but was delayed further because of mechanical issues.
‘Meanwhile, those that were left waiting at [Milwaukee] on the original flight are about to take off,’ he wrote. ‘@AmericanAir: This isn’t cute anymore.’
Winkley was finally able to get on the plane, he said, but maintenance crews soon returned to ‘fix something in the cockpit.’
After about an hour, the maintenance crews were unable to fix the problem, and they were asked to deplane.
At the same time, though, Winkley wrote, those who waited it out at Milwaukee had reached Dallas-Fort Worth.
In a series of tweets, Shel Winkley, a meteorologist for KBTX News, shared how he struggled to arrive at – and later get home from – an American Meteorological Society Broadcast Conference in Milwaukee
By 11.09pm, another flight he was booked on was canceled by American Airlines ‘once again leaving us stranded for the night,’ and at that point he and his crew decided to just take a sunrise flight to Austin.
They finally arrived on Texas soil mid-Sunday morning, as passengers around the country continued to face massive delays and cancelations for Father’s Day weekend.
So far in June, FOX 5 reports, more than 2.2 million travelers a day have gone through security checkpoints at US airports – up 22 percent from the same time one year ago, but still down 13 percent from the same time before the pandemic.
The delays are partially driven by on-going storms throughout the U.S. after a heat dome settled over the Midwest and South last week, creating the perfect conditions for surprise tornadoes and showers.
As of Sunday morning, more than 700 flights were canceled coming into or departing from the United States, according to Flight Aware , and over 1,000 flights coming into or out of the United States were delayed
A Transportation Security Administration checkpoint sign showed that it would take about an hour and a half to get through on Sunday
For disabled U.S. Army veteran Joe Reis told 11 Alive that the delays and cancellations have kept him from returning home from his honeymoon and accessing the charger for his hearing aids, which is in his hold bag.
‘Instead of it being a happy honeymoon, it became a very miserable plane ride waiting for this hell hole to let us finally leave,’ Reis said, adding that he had to sleep on the floor on Saturday. ‘I have to rely on hearing aids, and so my charging port is actually in my bag in Omaha.’
New mother Brooke Osborne echoed the complaints, saying that she was running out of diapers and formula for her 11-month-old daughter, Carson.
‘We’ve just been giving her more food throughout the day and less bottles since all of her formula is in our checked bag, which is in Omaha,’ she told the local outlet.
Rachel England, another passenger who was stuck waiting for her flight to Omaha, said she had been stranded in Atlanta since Friday.
‘We’ve been there since like 6:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., the night before,’ England told 11 Alive on Saturday.
‘I told [Delta], ‘This is on you. You guys get me the reimbursement for the hotel,” she added. ‘I made sure to get flight insurance just in case something like this happens.’
In a statement about the delays and cancellations, Delta said: ‘We apologize for any inconvenience and delay customers have experienced as a result of issues primarily driven by weather, ATC, and crew resources.
‘Delta people continue working hard to deliver the operations customers have come to expect from us, and we are working quickly to resolve travel issues and get customers to their destination.’
U.S. Army veteran Joe Reis (left) and new mother Brook Osborne (right) said they were stuck at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport for 24 hours on Saturday, with their bags containing essential equipment waiting for them in Omaha, Nebraska
Osborne said she was running out of diapers and formula for her 11-month-old daughter
The ongoing trends of frustrated travelers and high number of cancellations pushed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to tell airline executives to clean up their act and avoid another flying catastrophe before July 4.
Buttigieg, alongside millions of other travelers, are tired of what feels like constant cancellations without so much as an apology from the airlines.
The father-of-two has given airline executives a short two-week period to clean up the mess and guarantee travelers can enjoy a patriotic weekend and summer without the airport stress.
He’s asked them to ‘stress-test’ operations ahead of the next big holiday – meaning travel firms could ultimately end up cutting more flights if they realize they’ll have insufficient resources to operate them.
‘At the end of the day, they’ve got to deliver,’ Buttigieg told the Today Show. The Democrat met with top airlines executives on Thursday to warn them to avoid the Memorial Day disaster, where 2,700 flights were canceled.
On Friday, Buttigieg tweeted: ‘Air travelers should be able to expect reliable service as demand returns to levels not seen since before the pandemic.’
Transportation Pete Buttigieg called on airlines to brace themselves and prepare for the hectic July 4 weekend and said travelers should expect more reliable service by then
The number of travelers is surging back to pre-pandemic levels. This chart shows the same week over the last three years
A recent survey by the US Travel Association found than one in ten can’t afford to go on a road trip this year because of the increased cost and gas isn’t the only thing that’s more expensive
Travelers should expect to embrace a seemingly difficult travel season as not only are there less pilots in the cockpit, but less TSA agents screaming to take laptops out of backpacks.
Pre-pandemic, there were roughly 50,000 TSA agents employees, but in the last two years, that number has dipped to 46,000.
Many TSA checkpoints were closed during the height of the pandemic in 2020 – creating bottlenecks at already-crowded ports.
On top of that, TSA lost an abundance of workers due to the vaccine mandate last year. Official numbers have not been released for how many agents were lost to other jobs during the pandemic, but the agency is recruiting across the country.