Delta's debacle: Airline says it's recovering from storms with hundreds still stranded

More heavy delays at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA, Ga -- Thousands of passengers continue to be stranded Saturday afternoon in Atlanta and across the nation, as Delta Air Lines continue to recover from its biggest crisis since its 2016 computer malfunction.

Here's the latest:

Delta canceled approximately 275 more flights on Saturday, adding as the Atlanta-based airline continues to recover from last week's round of storms that has already resulted in 3,000 cancelations nationwide.

Extremely long lines were seen throughout Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday morning, days after severe storms forced a ground stop at the hub.

For Delta, these have been some of the worst days since the airline was forced to shut down in August 2016 because of serious computer issues.

"Delta’s operation continues to recover as airline teams work around the clock to return flights to normal following the disruption from severe storms in the Southeastern U.S. and East Coast this week," the airline said in a Saturday morning statement. "We have apologized for the disruption and continued difficulty reaccommodating those whose travel had been affected by the lingering impact of this week’s storms, which hampered the airline’s busiest hub in Atlanta."

Passengers were stranded at the airport, Thursday, after severe storms rolled through Georgia on Wednesday causing hundreds of flight cancelations.

Here are two first-hand accounts from Tegna's reporters who are experiencing the frustration on the ground:

11Alive’s Shiba Russell was returning from Honolulu to Atlanta, via Seattle:

"Delta scared me last night. They sent me a text saying my red eye flight out of Honolulu was cancelled two hours before boarding. The projected wait time on the phone was 1½ hours.

"Delta’s website was not updated, and the Delta app kept showing up with error messages every time I tried to rebook another flight.

"Thankfully, I went to the airport so I could speak to someone in person. By the time I arrived, the flight was a go, but delayed by more than an hour.

"Staffing appears to be an issue as well. My Seattle connection was delayed by an hour because they were waiting for a flight attendant.

"People are complaining left and right about Delta. A couple I met traveling from Hong Kong stayed the night in Seattle because their flight was either canceled or delayed. Their luggage was apparently never pulled off the plane in time in Hong Kong, so they won't have their luggage when they get to Atlanta.

"Delta reps have been encouraging people to check their bags for fear there isn't enough room on the flights. But no one wants to because Delta is still having problems from Wednesday’s storms."

Boyd Huppert, reporter at KARE in Minneapolis:

"I taught a workshop in Austin, Texas, for the National Press Photographers Association on Friday and was set to make a connection to Indianapolis through Atlanta. I was to make a speech to the Society of Professional Journaists on Saturday, but my connection from Austin to Atlanta was delayed five times, meaning we didn’t fly out of Texas until after midnight.

"That also meant I missed my connection to Indianapolis, but that flight had been cancelled anyway. I arrived in Atlanta around 2 am on Saturday morning and saw hundreds of people sprawled all over the airport floors, sleeping. I joined them.

"Eventually I was able to find a flight to Dayton; my plan was to rent a car and then drive to Indianapolis. But then the Dayton was delayed several times to the point that I couldn’t arrive in time to make the speech at all.

"I booked a flight to my home in Minneapolis that’s been delayed five hours so far.

"Look, we all understand that bad weather happens. But these storms came through Atlanta on Wednesday, and now we’re looking out the windows at clear, blue skies.

"What’s really frustrating is that there was an American Airline flight that I could have gotten on, to Indianapolis. But Delta canceled its interline agreement with American back in 2015, and that arrangement could have helped Delta’s passengers today.

"I’m a Delta gold medallion member and a frequent flyer. Generally, I’ve been really happy with Delta; they’re a good airline and they have good people. But four days later?

"I hope Delta learns from this. I hope they learn from how they’re caring for their customers right now. There are hundreds of people sleeping on the airport floor, including older people and members of the military. Delta’s staff has been overwhelmed; I feel for the people who are working the gates. There are people who have waited in five-hour lines just to see a Delta representative. Phones are ringing off the hooks, and going unanswered."

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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