DFW AIRPORT (1080 KRLD) – Recovering from the storms that stranded thousands of travelers and caused mass cancellations yesterday could last well into the evening Thursday, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport officials said.
All the lightning Wednesday night threw a wrench into the gears at the region’s largest airport. DFW Airport spokesperson Leslie Ensign says they have about 2,200 cots between the airport and the airlines and they were all in use Wednesday night into Thursday.
“Fortunately, though, we do have some seating that allows people to get a little bit of rest with reclining-type seating that we’ve installed in all the terminals,” Ensign said.
American Airlines and American Eagle reported that 162 cancelled flights stranded 3,044 travelers overnight. While it was not as bad during the day Thursday, Airport officials are still urging anyone either taking or meeting a flight to check ahead.
While CBS 11 News heard complaints about undue delays on tarmacs, the airport’s vice president of operations says that wasn’t the case.
“I am not aware of any aircraft that was extended on the tarmac past three hours,” said Paul Martinez. “No doubt there were flights that were delayed with the high number of diversions we had.”
American Airlines, by the largest carrier at the airport, reported just five cancellations Thursday. Its pilots union, which is currently fighting the company in bankruptcy court, argues that problems could’ve been avoided.
“They have a problem of their own making,” said Capt. Tom Hoban, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. “Typically the airline pluses up its schedule during the summer months when they make the lion’s share of their revenue.”
But American said it had all its severe weather plans in place and insists any delays were not labor-related.
Ensign says they are already reviewing their response to Wednesday night in the hope they can better deal with anyone who might have to stay at the airport again Thursday.
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