CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — This weekend, Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights across the country.
Locally, the effects were felt by travelers coming to and leaving Corpus Christi International Airport.
Debbie Lindsey-Opel was in Louisiana visiting family. While driving to the airport, she received a notification her flight was delayed.
“Within the last 30 minutes, I see this notice that I have a delayed flight, I didn’t think much about it, because we get delayed flights all the time. As it turns out, the second notice of delay was the flight lag out of Houston, which was much later, like 1:30 in the morning,” she said. “So, I began to think I should Google if there was something more at play, and of course there was.”
Lindsey-Opel was not alone. Debbie Christianson was in town for her high school reunion. She was supposed to leave from San Antonio Sunday, but a flat tire prevented her from making it, so she rescheduled a flight from CCIA Monday afternoon.
“I got my flight re-booked, was supposed to fly out of here at 1:50, then that flight got cancelled,” she said.
Her flight got re-booked for Thursday, but she has to get back to Wisconsin for work.
“So, I came down here and re-booked my flight. Now I have to try to get back to San Antonio to fly out tomorrow morning, so I can get back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for my job,” Christianson said.
Christianson said she was getting ahold of her brother to get her to San Antonio for her flight Tuesday morning.
For Lindsey-Opel, her flights were not delayed too long, but she did not return home until late into the morning hours Monday.
“At the end of the day, we were able to make it into Corpus at 3:30 this morning. Other than a lack of sleep, the outcome turned out to be acceptable and positive,” she said.
Despite the challenges, both women said Southwest employees were very helpful to them. Christianson said the staff at CCIA was helpful in getting her flight rebooked, and Lindsey-Opel said employees over the duration of her flight were receptive and get passengers informed.
“Even though they were under, what I would say, was a considerable amount of stress, they were able to continue to focus on the job, which was to help us who were there have the best experience given the circumstance,” she said.
On Twitter, Southwest Airlines said weather and air traffic control issues caused delays. However, the Federal Aviation Administration tweeted there were no ATC staffing shortages reported over the weekend.