HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Flights with American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have been experiencing technical difficulties resulting in cancelled flights around the country.

CW44 News At 10

With simmer travel numbers increasing, airlines have been adding more flights to accommodate the surging demand but recent difficulties with American and Southwest have hampered efforts.

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Tampa International Airport (TPA) Spokesperson, Emily Nipps says,  “Southwest had some computer glitches that caused many flights to be grounded. A lot of people were impacted by that. And then, more recently you’ve seen that American Airlines, has been experiencing a labor shortage which is causing them to cancel some flights.”

Averaging more than 65,000 travelers per day at TPA, Nipps says these cancellations have caused disruptions in summer travel. “There’s going to be some changes to schedules, some re-adjusting. There’s going to be some areas where we need to continue staffing so we have full service.” 

One recent traveler, Jeff Skipper, was affected by the technical issues with Southwest shared, “We were told ‘Hey, you know, in an hour we will take off,’ as the Orlando folks get on the plane and about fifteen minutes later, someone got on the plane and said…’Hey, your flight or Orlando has been cancelled and to get off the plane.’” 

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Skipper, his wife and three young sons found themselves stranded at a Colorado airport that night. “We were told, ‘We can fly you to Tampa tomorrow’. And I said, ‘Well I can’t wait three days to fly to Orlando, so sure… give me the Tampa flight.’”

Skipper had to come out of pocket for the overnight hotel in Colorado, the tickets to TPA and a rental car to get his family back to Orlando. The family finally arrived in Orlando to discover their baggage was lost. “We were like, ‘We are not moving another foot for Southwest Airlines,’ to be honest.” After the luggage was located, Skipper says Southwest delivered the luggage to his home later that evening.

Another recent traveler, Samantha Demaria Moore says her flight was cancelled over a passenger disputing COVID-19 regulations while on-board her American Airlines flight. “You know, the reason that American is cancelling all these flights is because flight attendants don’t want to come to work, I mean… they have lack of Labor,” said Moore.

She adds after speaking to the American Airlines flight attendant, travelers are way out of line, in her opinion, “and also just, not listening. You know, at the end when they say stay seated, do not get your luggage yet.”

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If you, or someone you know is affected by these issues, Nipps says Tampa International has many resources to help travelers in need of hotel accomodations in the event their flight is cancelled.