INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Passengers have come to expect canceled flights over the past few weeks from multiple airlines.
Indianapolis International Airport has been no exception to the travel chaos, which comes as many Hoosiers prepare to travel for the holidays.
Two flights were canceled at IND on Wednesday and four were canceled on Tuesday, according to Flight Aware.
On Sunday nationally, American Airlines canceled more than 600 fights, including half of their flights scheduled in Indianapolis.
This unpredictability has Hoosier passengers worried as they make their holiday travel plans.
Corey Nickel travels a lot for her job. On Wednesday, she was departing for Texas on her third work trip in the last few weeks. “I have been flying a lot of Delta. This is my first Southwest flight in quite some time. … Mainly because I stopped hearing about their cancellations,” Nickel said.
Over the last month, Southwest has canceled thousands of flights.
Luckily, Nickel managed to avoid getting stranded due to cancellations but, because of the issues impacting nationwide travel, she regularly checks her flight status leading up to departure.
“I have been trying to find as many directs as I can, but it has actually been pretty challenging. Flights are actually really limited right now, and I have been having an issue, especially with long layovers, just trying to get from one place to the next,” Nickel said.
With Thanksgiving just three weeks away, it’s unclear if the issues involving cancellations will be cleared up by the time the turkey is thawed.
Jessica Mayle, public affairs specialist for the Transportation Security Administration in the Great Lakes region, said, “It really it is hard to predict and obviously the circumstances that have led to those cancellations is kind of, in a lot of cases, a lot of different factors that are intersecting right now.”
Cynthia Bearden dropped her mom off at IND on Wednesday for a flight, and has plans to fly with her mother right before Christmas from Oregon.
“That is why we walked them in today is because we were afraid getting in here that her flight might be canceled,” Bearden said.
She is already anxious thinking about her mother’s flight in December. “There is not too much you can do about it right now. It is just you do what you can do and hope that something else will become available so you can get where you need to be,” Bearden said.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is expecting levels of travel this holiday season to resume the pace prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so getting on another flight in the case of a cancellation could be challenging.
The public affairs specialist said, “Indianapolis, we are at, as of this week, about 92% of our 2019 passenger numbers, so obviously that is a better comparison that 2020 would be.”
As of Wednesday night, no flights scheduled for Thursday or Friday in or out of Indianapolis had been canceled.
Also, the Transportation Security Administration recommends holiday passengers get to the airport early and make sure to regularly check a flight’s status in the case of a change, with the goal to try and reschedule with as few travel interruptions as possible.