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"I'm just exhausted": Holiday travelers experience flight delays and cancellations at BWI airport

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Posted at 10:44 PM, Dec 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-26 23:10:06-05

BALTIMORE — Holiday travel is becoming a holiday headache as hundreds of cancelled flights are trapping people in Baltimore overnight.

"At this point, I’m just exhausted," said a Southwest customer.

It's a similar reaction from passengers at BWI airport after last week's winter storms wreaked havoc on holiday travel, causing thousands of flights to be delayed or canceled.

According to Flight Aware, over 5,000 flights were canceled across the nation Monday.

Over 288 flight cancellations occurred at BWI, with the majority of those being Southwest flights.

"We figured out that our flight was canceled last minute; we just got a text. So, we're just trying to figure out if they'll give us a new flight,” said Desham Hotobah-Durang, a frustrated traveler.

Desham is one of the many travelers who are stranded at the Baltimore airport the day after Christmas. He, like many others, arrived at the airport to check in, only to discover he'll be staying somewhere else.

"If anything, hit up a family member stay with them, or if not, get a hotel and probably stay there,” said Desham.

"Oh, I’ve been nothing but in line for two hours,” said Jacob Lestegarten.

Lines extended in front of the Southwest ticket counter for those whose flight was canceled, where some travelers say they waited hours not only in line but also on the phone.

"I had saw that my flight was canceled; I had originally gotten a message that it had been delayed, and then when I was in line again, I got another message that it had been delayed; after that it said it was canceled, but that's all I’ve heard, and I’m on hold with them now, an hour and half,” said Somto Ukwuani, a Southwest customer.

But for many, the trip didn't just end this way, it also started with flight cancelations.

"We came in on Thursday, we were supposed to come in on Friday, but we rebooked for earlier, and that was delayed for a couple hours, so we were at the airport for a long time to come here in the first place,” said Oge Ezigboh, a frustrated traveler.

Others, like Brandon Williams, have found the positivity in the situation.

"It's definitely been one of the more trying times I’ve had during the holiday season, but it's been worth it. I’ve gotten to spend time with family, so that kinda made it worth it,” said Williams, a Southwest Customer.

Southwest sent a statement saying BWI is a considerable portion of their flight schedule and that they are working to re-accommodate customers whose flights were disrupted now that the extreme winter weather has passed.

Southwest also issued an apology to all the affected customers and offered a full refund or a flight credit.

Flight Aware reported Monday night that over 200 cancellations had already been made for Tuesday by Southwest.