Christmas Day Flights Canceled and Delayed in Sacramento

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Several flights from Sacramento International Airport (SMF) were canceled or delayed on Christmas Day, leaving travelers to change their vacation plans at the last minute. Many of the SMF arriving and departing flights that were canceled or delayed were on Southwest Airlines. Travelers said airline staff told them the cancellations were due in part to fog blanketing the Sacramento area and also to waiting for pilots and flight crews. KCRA 3 reached out to Southwest Airlines to find out why there were so many cancellations and delays. Here’s what they said in response: “The current flight cancellations are residual effects on the entirety of our operation due to the impact of Winter Storm Elliot at more than half of the airports where we operate in the continental United States.” shortage of pilots and flight crew, Southwest Airlines sent the following message to KCRA 3: “We have no shortage of personnel and are working to stabilize our entire operation. We don’t anticipate future flight disruptions, but we encourage customers to continue to confirm their flight status on Southwest.com or the Southwest app.”Although it was Christmas Day, many travelers experienced anything but a happy, bright Sunday. Anna Hiscox was supposed to go to New York, but she said that Sacramento fog and crew problems delayed her flight, and after hours of waiting, her flight ended up being cancelled. she said. “I’m totally frustrated and disappointed.” That was the general story. Residents who were forced to return home, including Lodi resident Steve Jordan, waited on conveyor belts at baggage claim for luggage – which, like them – never made it onto a plane. Jordan planned to be in Seattle for Christmas dinner. “Our children are already there, so the festivities will continue without us. Our grandchildren are there,” Jordan said. “My wife is upstairs getting a new ticket for tomorrow.” Needless to say, the queue of disgruntled travelers trying to reschedule their trips was far less festive. Suitcases from canceled connecting flights littered the floor of the baggage carousel. Some people were sifting through the sea of ​​bags, while others waited in a long line to talk to staff about what to do next. ” said San Diego resident Mark Guinto. All the chaos of Christmas can turn anyone into a Grinch. But not the Marshall family. They were dressed in their holiday sweaters and trying to stay positive as they waited for their bags. They finally did. arrived in Sacramento after several delays and layovers, originally coming from Mississippi. We’re not, so I feel sorry for the people who are having to do this,” said Mike Marshall. After finding their luggage, the Marshall family left the airport with smiles on their faces heading to a relative’s home, finally ready to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. “We have coffee and our bags, so we’re good to go!” Angela Marshall said. Southwest Airlines told KCRA 3 that it is working to accommodate as many customers as possible at this time based on available space. Those whose flights have been canceled can request a full refund or receive a flight credit, which does not expire.

Several flights out of Sacramento International Airport (SMF) were canceled or delayed on Christmas Day, leaving travelers to change their vacation plans at the last minute.

Many of SMF’s arriving and departing flights that were canceled or delayed were on Southwest Airlines. Travelers said airline staff told them the cancellations were due in part to fog blanketing the Sacramento area and also to waiting for pilots and flight crews. KCRA 3 reached out to Southwest Airlines to find out why there were so many cancellations and delays. Here’s what they said in response:

“The current flight cancellations are residual effects on our entire operation due to the impact of winter storm Elliot at more than half of the airports where we operate in the continental United States.”

In response to potential staff shortages with pilots and flight crew members, Southwest Airlines sent the following message to KCRA 3:

“We have no staff shortages and are working to stabilize our entire operation. We do not anticipate future flight disruptions, but we encourage customers to continue to confirm their flight status on Southwest.com or the Southwest app.”

Even though it was Christmas Day, many travelers felt anything but a bright and cheerful Sunday. Anna Hiscox was supposed to go to New York, but she said that Sacramento fog and crew problems delayed her flight, and after hours of waiting, her flight ended up being cancelled.

“I’ve been here since six o’clock in the morning,” Hiscox said. “I’m totally frustrated and disappointed.”

That was the story across the board. Residents who were forced to return home, including Lodi resident Steve Jordan, waited on conveyor belts at baggage claim for luggage – which, like them – never made it onto a plane. Jordan planned to be in Seattle for Christmas dinner.

“Our children are already there, so the festivities will continue without us. Our grandchildren are there,” Jordan said. “My wife is upstairs getting a new ticket for tomorrow.”

But ticketing lines wound around the counter inside the airport, like a toy train wraps around a Christmas tree. Needless to say, the queue of unhappy travelers trying to reschedule their trips was far less festive.

Suitcases from canceled connecting flights littered the floor of the baggage carousel. Some people were sifting through the sea of ​​bags, while others waited in a long line to talk to staff about what to do next.

“You see there’s baggage everywhere, and the signals, the system they have now, it’s really not the best,” said San Diego resident Mark Guinto.

All the chaos of Christmas can turn anyone into a Grinch. But not the Marshall family. They were dressed in their holiday sweaters and trying to stay positive as they waited for their bags. They finally arrived in Sacramento after several delays and layovers, having originally come from Mississippi.

“Doing the best we can, trying to spread joy, you know, they’re doing the best they can, they’re working through the holidays and we’re not, so I feel for the people who are having to do that,” said Mike Marshall.

After finding their luggage, the Marshall family left the airport with smiles on their faces and headed to a relative’s home, finally ready to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

“We have coffee and our bags, so we’re good to go!” Angela Marshall said.

Southwest Airlines told KCRA 3 that it is working to accommodate as many customers as possible at this time based on available space. Those whose flights have been canceled can request a full refund or receive a flight credit, which does not expire.

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