by: Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Although Delta Air Lines’ operations were finally returning to normal Monday after five days of thousands of flight cancellations, hundreds of stranded bags left on the airport floor and thousands of frustrated passengers remained in the aftermath of the airline’s chaotic period.
Delta canceled close to 3,500 flights between Wednesday and Sunday, and many passengers became disconnected from their bags in the process, meaning that even after they got to their destinations, they were left without their packed clothing and other belongings.
Hundreds of bags were left on the floor at Delta baggage claim at the Atlanta airport in the aftermath of the airline’s thousands of flight cancellations since Wednesday.
Kerlene Moore was supposed to return home Thursday from a visit with her 3-year-old daughter to see her parents in Palm Beach. But after her flight was canceled, she never got her luggage back and had to buy new clothes during the four-day delay.
When she got into Atlanta Monday morning, she encountered rows of baggage lined up on the floor at baggage claim.
“They just told me to start here,” Moore said as she and her daughter, Kennedi, walked between the rows of baggage. “This is ridiculous. If I don’t find my bags, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Mikeal Dennard was trying to return from a trip to California when he had two Delta flights canceled on Wednesday and Thursday.
After spending hundreds of dollars extra and then finally booking a flight on Southwest and getting home on Friday, he learned that his baggage wouldn’t arrive until Sunday on Delta.
But on Monday, he didn’t find his baggage in the lines of suitcases as employees searched in the basement.
Dennard, Moore and many other passengers have also run into the problem of hours-long waits for customer service on Delta’s phone lines.
“Right now everybody’s so overwhelmed where they’re starting to lose bags,” Dennard said. “I think it’s partly disorganization.”
“I fly a lot … This is the worst it’s ever been,” Dennard said. “It’s horrible.”