Flight delays, cancellations causing travelers to spend all day at Atlanta airport before Christmas

ATLANTA — Massive airport delays and cancellations caused some to travel up to the last minute on Christmas Eve.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with a family of three, who said Saturday was a long day.

“Originally supposed to take off at 10 a.m. this morning in Denver, and now it’s 6 p.m. here”, Ken Jones said. “We didn’t leave until 1, 2 p.m.”

Delay after delay was made cuter — and at times, fussier, with an infant.

“Anticipated likely there would be something but not four hours, so with this one, it was fun,” Meghan Griffin said.

They were not alone. At least 578 flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were delayed Saturday and at least 246 were canceled.

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The delays were caused by a massive storm moving across the country, taking its toll on those just trying to get home in time for Christmas.

On Friday, Channel 2 Action News talked to one woman who tried three different airports to get to her holiday vacation, but ended up trapped in Atlanta for hours.

Nationwide, more than 2,600 flights were canceled and over 6,000 were delayed on Saturday.


Friday hit the record for the highest number of cancellations this year, with more than 20% of all flights scrapped.

For Airman Ethan Thornton, his delay held him up in Texas. But the wait was worth every minute for his family.

And the delays don’t seem like they will get better. Looking ahead to Christmas Day, no other airport has as many flights canceled as Hartsfield-Jackson.

Currently, there are 130 flights canceled for Christmas Day, including 10% of all flights coming in to Atlanta.

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