JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The holiday travel rush is causing major headaches for travelers with dozens of flights delayed at Jacksonville International Airport (JIA). Before the end of the year, AAA expects more than 350,000 Floridians to fly and some people won’t get where they’re going on time.
The Jacksonville airport was smooth sailing for some passengers like Dan and Debby Ignatuck, who were traveling to Jacksonville from Washington D.C. with no delays. They said they missed most of the crowds too.
“We’ve been lucky, it’s been fabulous and this airport is just unbelievable to come in and out of,” Dan Ignatuck said.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a delay program on Florida flights to help control air traffic volumes. Jacksonville was said to be excluded from the program, but the airport still saw its fair share of delays the day after Christmas.
“The flight was at 7:22. Yesterday, I arrived at the airport about almost five o’clock. So it has been almost 20 hours,” Kenneth McCreary said, another delayed passenger.
McCreary tried to make it home to Washington D.C., but his United flight was delayed more than a dozen times. He said the hotel vouchers offered by the airlines last night weren’t even honored Tuesday night.
“Now I’m going I guess almost 36 hours or more without sleep. So it’s not a good thing. No, no, no. I’m hoping that this flight will be successful,” McCreary said.
Patti Reed was waiting to take off to Washington D.C. She was supposed to make a connecting flight to Greece at 5 p.m. for a volleyball tournament her daughter was coaching in.
“So they’re saying they’re taking the plane and towing it up to the gate…And they’re gonna take our bags that have been on a plane that has been on the tarmac and put them on this plane, and they’re gonna get us out of here as soon as possible. So fingers crossed,” Reed said.
Patti and Kenneth’s flight did take off around 1 p.m.
If you’re flying in the coming days, make sure to check your flight status because delays are expected to keep happening until the New Year.
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