After more than 3,500 flight cancellations across the nation since last Wednesday's storms, and more than a half-million passengers affected, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines says they are getting back to normal on Monday.
The carrier says they are going to hand-deliver the thousands of pieces of luggage that have been delayed across the system. They plan to deliver the bags directly to travelers' homes.
A full timetable has yet to be established on how long that will take.
Out of the flight cancellations, more than 1,500 of them affected Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
11Alive's Bill Liss says Delta points to a perfect storm" of conditions:
Severe weather in cities across the eastern half of the nation.
- The positioning of aircraft due to extended ground holds in Atlanta and other cities across the United States.
- The availability of cabin and cockpit flight crews, including those who had already had the FAA mandated rest periods since their prior flights.
- Customer service staffing issues, including extended hold times of up to three hours for persons calling the toll-free customer service lines.
Delta issued a statement apologizing to passengers, and also pointed out that Spring Break is contributing to the problems being experienced by travelers.
"Customer call volumes remain high and Spring Break travel means reaccommodation opportunities are limited," the statement said. "Our employees are doing all they can, picking up extra flights, working overtime and going above and beyond for our customers on the phone and in gate areas."
Delta is also waiving change fees for affected travelers who cancel or change their flights as a result of flight cancellations or significant delays of 90 minutes or more for flights between April 5 and April 9. New tickets and travel must begin on or before April 16. Delta has details at Delta.com.
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