OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s a busy holiday weekend for Oklahoma travelers as Christmas approaches. AAA Oklahoma estimates nearly 1.1 million people across the state will travel more than 50 miles or more starting December 23rd to January 2nd.
According to FlightAware there have been 57 flight delays and 17 cancellations at Will Rogers World Airport on Friday.
Will Rogers World Airport saw around 13,000 travelers Friday. That’s over double the number of travelers they typically see on a normal day.
Some flyers KFOR spoke with are fed up with the travel holiday craze and say they’ve had more than one issue with airlines Friday.
“As we started driving, we saw that our flight got delayed. And as we get here, we see it got delayed again. So, we’re a little bit, kind of scared that it might get canceled, but we’re hoping for the best,” said Austin Ogletree, traveler.
Austin Ogletree said his family’s Southwest Airlines flight got delayed several times Friday and ultimately split the family up to where half are delayed until Saturday.
“It’s frustrating, but I can understand it because like, everyone’s going through that right now… We are kind of just hoping we’re all going to end up in the same place,” said Ogletree.
Another problem one family was dealing with was lost luggage after flying with American Airlines Friday morning coming from DFW.
“In Dallas, we had to go through customs and pick our bag in one area and drop it off in another. So, I physically picked up our bags in Dallas and put them back on in Dallas. So we expected to see them here,” said Keah Payne, traveler.
That trip was also delayed, keeping travelers from coming into Oklahoma City on time.
“We arrived in Oklahoma City this morning or else noonish and the luggage was not here, and it’s not just ours, it’s a lot of people,” said Payne.
Jeff Mulder, the director of airports in Oklahoma City said the winter storm sweeping the country is playing a major role in most of the travel disruptions, and ultimately affecting flights coming in and out of Will Rogers.
“Delays are impacted because it’s a network and airplanes are coming from different markets and connecting it to hubs… So, when you have a major storm like this that impacts half the country or more, it’s inevitable you’re going to have delays and cancellations,” said Jeff Mulder, Director of Airports in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Airport officials suggest checking with your airline constantly for updates as travelers can expect many changes going into the holiday.
Around 13,000 flights have been cancelled or delayed across the county Friday leaving thousands of travelers stranded nationwide and making it one of the most treacherous holiday seasons the U.S. has seen in decades.