Flights delayed, canceled at Orlando International Airport, leaving thousands stranded

Delays, some over 24 hours, leave passengers frustrated

ORLANDO, Fla. – Several flights have been delayed or canceled at Orlando International Airport over the last few days, leaving many passengers stranded and frustrated.

A spokesperson for Southwest told News 6 in a statement that the airline’s delays and cancellations at OIA were due to severe weather that slammed Florida on Saturday.

“The delays and cancellations you’re noticing are residual from yesterday when severe thunderstorms stretched across the Gulf of Mexico and Florida and Winter Storm Quinlan moved through the northeast and created flight disruptions. Today, the Southwest Team is working diligently to minimize those residual issues,” the statement said.

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Brittany Bowman said she was stuck at OIA for hours and was exhausted. She said she wants to go home to Pennsylvania.

“It’s going on now 24 hours we’ve been here, no offer of hotel stay or anything so we’re just kind of stuck,” Bowman said.

She was scheduled to fly out Saturday morning on a Southwest flight, but it was cancelled. She said she was rebooked on a flight Saturday night.

“We sat there, it was a 4-hour delay and then at 3:45 (a.m.) they told us to line up and then a guy came out and told us they were cancelling the flight and they said they’ll try to get us on but due to crew hours, they weren’t able to put us on the flight and they cancelled it,” Bowman said.

Hope Mills learned overnight her Southwest flight that was scheduled to leave Sunday morning was cancelled. She said the airline told her she couldn’t get a flight to Baltimore until Wednesday.

“It’s very frustrating. It happens, but as long as they put us up it’s fine,” Mills said. “But we shouldn’t have to pay for three more days to stay here for lodging, food and car rental and everything.”

Emanuel and Gloria Cooper arrived to the airport early after learning their Southwest flight to New York was delayed by an hour. They kept their hopes up that they would make the flight.

“We’re in the beginning stages of it, so we’ll see what happens,” Emanuel Cooper said.