Delta officials warn this could be a rough weekend for travelers

ATLANTA — According to FlightAware, more than a quarter of all flights out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday were delayed.

Channel Two’s Justin Wilfon spoke with Delta officials who warned that this could be a rough weekend for travelers.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Delta made that prediction earlier this week and began offering waivers to people willing to change their flights this weekend.

Inside the airport Friday night one traveler, Renea Spear, told us it was a zoo.

TRENDING STORIES:

“This being a holiday weekend, everybody trying to get through,” Spear said.

The busy holiday travel weekend is struggling to take flight at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Renea and John Spear told us they’re among the thousands of passengers seeing their flights delayed.

“Slightly delayed by 30 minutes but we got here in plenty of time … so we’ll just be here a little longer I guess,” Spear said.

On the Friday that kicked off the Fourth of July weekend, more 350 flights in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson were delayed, and nearly 60 were canceled.

Atlanta based-Delta Air Lines began predicting trouble earlier this week, offering passengers waivers to change their flights, on what Delta predicts will be the busiest travel weekend since before the pandemic.

A Delta Air Lines pilot who spoke to Wilfon anonymously said pilot staffing shortages are largely to blame.

“It feels bad when we show up to an airplane and here’s 180 customers on our airplane and we have to cancel because we can’t find but one pilot. And I’ve had to do that a couple of times and tell them how sorry I was for it. But you know — it only goes so far,” the pilot said.

In a statement, Delta said: “Delta people are working around the clock to rebuild Delta’s operation while making it as resilient as possible to minimize the ripple effect of disruptions.”

This week, the travel trouble reached unheard-of heights, when Delta reportedly offered passengers on an oversold flight from Michigan to Minnesota $10,000 to take a different flight.

“Uh … yeah. We’re on the wrong flight … we’re on the wrong flight. I definitely would have taken them up on that,” Spear said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

IN OTHER NEWS: