Delays Ease at Philly Airport
August 9, 2007 (WPVI) -- Flight delays eased on Friday after a day in which hundreds of travelers were left stranded at Philadelphia International Airport.
According to airport officials, nine out of ten flights were on-time today.
US Airways said 530 flights were cancelled across the country on Thursday. One-hundred-thirty of those were out of Philadelphia. That left hundreds stranded and fed up with what they say is becoming the norm.
Burt Cole spent six hours on a plane on the tarmac to find out hours after that his flight was canceled. "On the runway for six hours, with only one engine going, so the air conditioner was only half working," said Burt. "The toilet started overflowing. They were out of drinks on the airplane. This was U.S. Air. I hope they're watching."
But US Airways insists bad weather coming from the west was the culprit. According to the airline, the weather created a backlog keeping some passengers stranded on the tarmac for up to 6 hours.
Nearly 30 planes were lined up this afternoon, but weren't going anywhere.
"I do travel a lot internationally and I don't think I've seen anything like this before," said Inga Crim of Indianapolis.
As many have seen before at Philadelphia International, weather delays caused the backlog. A scheduled paint job for one runway around noon only made the problem worse. As one US Airways officials put it, the problems just continued to pile up.
"I paid for these tickets, now it's going to cost me $130 to go home and come back. Do you think they're reimbursing us for anything?" said Barbara Barnes of Willingboro.
US Airways says it is trying its best to play catch up, but with the weekend approaching, passengers may find it difficult to find another flight. Some told Action News they couldn't get tickets until Saturday.
"We have opted to drive, which cuts into our vacation because two days are taken up on each side for traveling," said Brady Schurt of Claymont.
"This is getting to be the norm. When you schedule flights now, you better allow yourself extra time for travel. It happens every week," said Phil Goodson of Albany, New York.
Air traffic control instituted a ground delay system, which means flights have been put on a 2-hour delay. Those delays may last well into Friday.
Travelers are being advised to call 1-800-PHL-GATE. You can check the status of any flight here on 6abc.com by clicking here.
Action News reporter Amy Buckman contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2007 by Action News and 6abc. All Rights Reserved.)
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