More than 300 flights canceled during day of severe weather in Orlando; passengers left frustrated, stranded

Massive flight cancellations caused by weather, technical issues, officials say

Hundreds of cancellations at OIA after severe storms move through Central Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Passengers are frustrated at Orlando International Airport after massive flight cancellations were caused by weather and technical issues.

The airport reported more than 300 flights cancelled Saturday. There were more than 70 cancellations Monday, so far, as the cancellations spilled over from the weekend.

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“Flights are getting delayed,” said Stephanie Sanderlin, who was traveling to Memphis on Monday. “Weather, airlines are having problems with their computer issues and it’s just a mess. I stayed in line for two and a half hours.”

Long lines at Southwest could be seen wrapping around to the lobby, with some passengers saying they’ve been in line for more than four hours.

Southwest tweeted out this message to passengers explaining the airline’s technical difficulties.

Strong storms were seen rolling across Central Florida for hours bringing heavy rain, wind and even hail.

“We’re a little stressed,” said Sam Lingeman, a Southwest passenger, “We are working on it... we might drive home.”

Lingeman said their family is looking at all options to get home. Their plane was set to leave around 5 p.m., bound for Indianapolis, Indiana, but now she is not sure what may happen.

“We don’t know,” Lingeman said. “I mean, everything is cancelled. Even stuff leaving out tomorrow.”

For others such as Steve Hanna, he said they were waiting in line for about two hours and hoped to find an alternative route back home to Nebraska.

“We would have to wait three days… maybe we could fly to Chicago or anywhere, right? Just to get on an airplane and go,” Hanna said.

Southwest is urging patience as they work with their passengers to get them home.

“In addition to additional flexibility for travel this weekend, coast to coast to coast, we’re offering heartfelt apologies to every Customer inconvenienced by these delays, and gratitude to our Employees in Orlando and elsewhere who are working diligently to take care of them,” Southwest Airlines said in a released statement. “We’ll continue to update Customers whose journey with us today might be delayed, and work with them through their individual situations.”

Passengers said it’s still unclear when they will get home, with some reporting they won’t have a flight available until Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport is advising passengers to check for updates for their flights, you can do so by clicking here.


About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.