CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Passengers were stranded at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Monday night into Tuesday morning as strong thunderstorms canceled dozens of American Airlines flights, leaving many people with nowhere to go.
Long lines formed at ticket counters as folks tried to rebook flights to reach their destinations. And since Charlotte is one of American Airlines' six major hubs, it caused a ripple effect across the country at many major airports.
Meanwhile, lines for TSA checkpoints extended throughout the airport's main concourse and ticketing area. Some passengers said their flights were hours behind and had to wait until midday Tuesday until they were able to get out of Charlotte.
To make matters worse for passengers, because Monday's cancelations were caused by weather, the airline is not responsible for putting people up in hotels for the night. With many hotels near the airport booked up, many people were forced to spend the night in the terminal during the unexpected layover.
"They said, 'Oh, we can't give you blankets, pillows or cots because of COVID,'" one woman said. "All the hotels were sold out. As far as what they could do? They could have flight crew available. If you have planes scheduled, why are there no flight crews? It's ridiculous."
One person said they were on a plane for 10 hours with just over three hours of actually being in the air. She tweeted at American, saying they weren't allowed off the plane at Charlotte and were only given a cookie and one drink during that time.
American Airlines issued the following statement to WCNC Charlotte:
"Severe weather in the Charlotte area yesterday resulted in multiple FAA ground stops and an extended ATC delay program, causing significant impacts to American's scheduled operation. Our team has been working around the clock to care for and rebook customers affected by the disruption. We apologize for the challenges and are working to get customers on their way as quickly as possible."
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