Travelers passing through Norfolk airport dealing with headaches amid flight cancellations, delays

Norfolk International Airport check-in line
Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 23:28:55-04

NORFOLK, Va. - If you're planning to travel this July 4 weekend, prepare yourself for possible flight cancellation and delays. According to travel app Hopper, more than a quarter of domestic flights have been impacted.

News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones stopped by Norfolk International Airport Thursday and talked to some folks whose travel plans were impacted.

The airline industry has been hit with staffing shortages, and some travelers tell us the uptick with delays and cancellations have impacted their trust with the airlines.

The busy summer travel season is underway, but not everything is going smoothly.

At Norfolk International, we spoke to many travelers who say they had a smooth trip.

But on the other hand, others had headaches as delays and cancellations continue to soar.

“I do travel quite a bit, and it's just not reliable lately at all. You never know if you're going to get to your destination on time,” said Josie Jackson, whose flight was impacted.

And on time she was not. Jackson was heading to Atlanta, but her connecting flight in Charlotte, N.C., that would take her there got canceled.

“[They] told me I could get on another flight but it would be standby or I can get on a later one. So, I got on that flight at standby, still had to wait in the Atlanta airport for three hours. [I] was not happy about that,” she said, rating her travel experience a 4 out of 10.

Many of the delays and cancellations are due to widespread staff shortages, from flight traffic controllers to pilots.

“I want to hit the beach ASAP, but now I can't because the little delay and I won't get out there until late,” said traveler Jermaine Duncan, who was on his way to Florida. “It'll be nighttime, so I won’t get to experience Tampa until the next day.”

That leaves passengers like Duncan to consider driving to their destinations in the future, despite gas prices remaining high, reaching nearly $5 per gallon.

“You know, you feel like a rock stuck in a hard place… it's just not an easy decision to say, ‘OK, I'll drive,’ but you'll deal with the delays if you fly,” Duncan said.

Travel experts advise wherever you go, plan ahead.

“It's not like how it used to be pre-COVID, that's for sure,” Jackson said.

According to the Department of Transportation, you're entitled to a refund if an airline cancels your flight and you refuse an alternate one, or if you’re not on a non-refundable ticket.

Airlines have been trying to ramp up hiring efforts and are also training more pilots to try and get back on track for all the passengers flooding the airports.

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