SAN FRANCISCO – Not the happiest sight for holiday travelers. Long lines, heavy traffic, and screens showing cancelled and delayed flights.
AAA estimates 46 million hit the roads and the skies during Thanksgiving week.
Rainy weather in the west and snow in the East Coast made the busiest travel period difficult for the 4.5 million that traveled by air.
This Filipino couple just experienced a delay in the return trip after enjoying the Thanksgiving holidays in Las Vegas.
“Delayed. Very delayed. About two hours,” said Jesse Macking. “The flight is one and a half from Las Vegas to San Francisco, but the delay was a few hours, maybe a couple hours.”
At San Francisco International, the country’s most chronically delayed airport according to weather.com, many domestic flights were delayed or cancelled due to winter rains along the West Coast.
Nationwide, flightaware.com estimated some 7,000 delayed flights and over 500 cancelled flights as of Sunday night.
One family was hoping they would make it back home in time for snowy Vancouver, Canada, but they were already bracing for a delay.
“Sana nga,” said Lilia Tumanday. “We’re coming back to work tomorrow, it’s Monday, so back to work.”
The wet roads were not much better for travel either. The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook around the San Francisco Bay Area with moderate rain and isolated thunderstorms.
In the meantime, for the second year in a row, Los Angeles International Airport was the busiest airport in the country, where computer systems crashed on Sunday morning.
At Chicago’s Midway Airport, the high volume of passengers piled up into a mile-long line at the TSA security point.
Despite some inconveniences, a few airline companies are waiving rebooking and cancellation fees for certain travelers, especially for the East Coast bound.