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‘Your flight has been cancelled’; Family says airline cancels flight out of CLT over crew shortage

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:44 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As more people get vaccinated and restrictions loosen, many families are planning vacations.

Some people are reporting long lines at the Charlotte airport.

According to TSA, they are experiencing about an 80-percent traveler increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Long security lines could be due in part to the fact that TSA has 40 unfilled screening positions at the airport right now.

On Friday, 24,862 people flowed through the checkpoints.

On Saturday, 21,379 went through and on Sunday that number went up to 26,744.

American Airlines is suggesting that passengers arrive three hours before flights.

NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins called out the Charlotte Airport on Twitter Friday, labeling it as the single biggest TSA Checkpoint disaster he’s ever seen.

Word from weekend headaches traveled quickly, causing some people flying out Monday to show up extra early.

”4 hours,” Jackson Barbee said. “I got an email from American saying the lines would be pretty long and to get here with adequate time.”

The Ebert family planned ahead, driving to Charlotte from Greenville Sunday night to stay in a hotel ahead of their Monday morning flight to Aruba.

But on Monday night they found themselves at another hotel, instead of on vacation in Aruba.

“We wake up at the crack of dawn with two kids, first flight for our 1 year old, we pull up curbside thinking this is going to be a smooth experience and then we get to the gate and they say ‘your flight has been cancelled.’ What? No it’s not,” Lindsey Ebert said.

The family of four says American Airlines blamed it on a crew shortage.

In a statement, a spokesperson for American Airlines says:

“American’s operation is continuing to recover following severe weather, which impacted our Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth hubs last weekend. As we work to reposition displaced flight crews and minimize disruptions to our customers, American made the difficult decision to cancel flight 1346 from Charlotte to Aruba (AUA) today. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to rebook impacted customers on other flights.”

The spokesperson also said the airline is adequately staffed for summer travel.

If that’s the case, the Eberts want to know why they did not have a back up plan in place.

“Hopefully the airliners take note of this and are able to have better contingency plans,” Colby Ebert said.

The airline rebooked the flight for Tuesday.

“We have to think about COVID tests again, because now we have to get it in 72 hours from the first date of getting tested,” Ebert said. “Not the best experience.”

A spokesperson for TSA says long security lines could be due in part to the fact that they are trying to fill 40 screening positions at the airport right now.

To apply for TSA, click here.

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