‘We just have the clothes on our back’: Some passengers face being stranded another week at OIA

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 200 flights have been canceled at Orlando International Airport, and those flying Southwest won’t get the chance to rebook before New Year’s Eve.


While almost every airline is experiencing delays or cancellations, the majority have been by Southwest Airlines, which accounts for nearly 25% of all flights at OIA.

At least half the canceled flights on Tuesday are with Southwest, along with half the delayed flights. Southwest canceled 120 flights on Tuesday, leaving people like Dayton, Ohio residents Danielle Page and her daughter Kylee stuck at the airport.

“We’ve never traveled in the holidays like this, and I don’t think we will again,” Danielle Page said. “We just have the clothes on our back.”

READ: Extreme weather across the U.S. leaves travelers stranded at Orlando International Airport

Page said they’ve been trying to get back to Dayton since Friday.

Southwest issued a statement, saying in part: “As we continue the work to recover our operation, we have made the decision to continue operating a reduced schedule by flying roughly one-third of our schedule for the next several days.”

READ: Holiday headache: More than 3,900 flights canceled, 7,700 delayed after Christmas

Some travelers said they can’t afford to wait that long and are instead shelling out more than $300 for a rental car.

OIA officials said travelers should still arrive at the airport at least three hours before departure and continue to check the status of parking on the airport’s website.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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