The repercussions and effects of air travel disruption are precisely exhibited in the unique, personal experiences of suffering passengers. A couple returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic via American Airlines’ hub in Charlotte on 29 or 30 July, had their flight cancelled, leaving them at 1:30 a.m. with no baby formula and no means to feed their nine-month-old infant. Pilot shortage was the reason cited for flight cancellation.
According to a Business Insider report, a couple who were travelling with their 9 month old baby, stated their flight landed smoothly in Charlotte and they were prepared for the short ride to RDU. However, they soon started getting notifications from the airline that the aircraft from Charlotte was set to be delayed. At 12:30 p.m., the family boarded the plane, but the jet waited at the gate until the captain announced the co-pilot issue.
When they approached American Airlines for help and support, the airline stated that rebooking would take two to three hours. They decided to rent a car and go back home. However, the rental vehicle desks were closed at the time, and they were unable to obtain a hotel room as well.
“I had packed enough formula for my trip and back home. Unfortunately, I didn’t account for very long delays or canceled flights,” the mother said. “The airport looked like a refugee camp with hundreds and thousands stranded. Passengers slept on chairs, floors, doors, everywhere.”
They claimed that the airlines informed them that the delay was due to weather. However, it later began to emerge that this delay was due to pilot shortage rather than a weather issue.