MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Department of Transportation is threatening to crack down on airlines amid flight delays and cancellations all summer.
DOT says airlines should be held accountable for these major outages.
A Milwaukee resident who had planned a trip to Mexico in July echoes the department’s sentiment, saying her recent trips have left her traumatized.
“Hot and humid, it was completely packed, there were hundreds of angry people who had their flights cancelled, just pure chaos everywhere,” Jade Bell said.
Instead of images of the sandy beaches of Mexico, Bell of Milwaukee said her trip was a complete bust.
“We had to cancel the whole trip,” Bell said.
Bell successfully made it from Milwaukee to her connecting flight to Dallas, where the passenger says her nightmare began.
“We were in line for two and a half hours just to talk to somebody,” Bell said.
Arriving at the DFW gate to board her flight to Mexico, she was met with a flight cancellation sign.
Bell said she added her name to the standby list for the next flight, but it was unsuccessful.
“Your names are not on the standby list, and I was completely upset because eleven hours later that’s all I was told,” Bell said.
The traveler said the airline tried to get him a hotel room, but the Milwaukeean couldn’t get a break.
“The clerk wrote us a voucher for a night’s stay at a hotel, we found out the hotel burned down five days before we landed,” Bell said.
However, Bell is not alone in its problems, travel experts say these disruptions stem from the onset of COVID.
“With airlines having problems with staffing, this has cost nothing but anguish for many travelers,” said Mark Wimberly, owner of Making Memories Travel.
Now, travelers like Bell are asking airlines to do what she says is the right thing.
“I want a full refund, meaning I think it’s completely unreasonable to deduct any part of it for something that was completely out of my control,” Bell said.
Experts say a major source of these airline disruptions stems from labor shortages.
“Pilots bought out of the airlines, they were all senior employees, a lot of them were close to retirement, and then when it recovered as quickly as it did, these pilots didn’t come back and raise pilots. young and to train. a long time,” said Wimberly.