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 meltdown.
Delta said Monday it expected to operate more than 99 percent of its scheduled flights.
The recovery comes after the airline cancelled close to 3,500 flights from Wednesday through Sunday. Many passengers became disconnected from their bags in the process -- meaning that even after they got to their destinations, they still were left without their packed clothing and other belongings.
Kerlene Moore was supposed to return home Thursday from a visit with her three-year-old daughter to see her parents in Palm Beach. But after her flight was cancelled, 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 the rows of baggage lined up on the floor at baggage claim.
As Moore and her daughter Kennedi walked between the rows of baggage, she said: “They just told me to start here.”
“This is ridiculous,” she said. “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 cancelled Wednesday and Thursday.
After spending hundreds of dollars extra and then finally booking a flight on Southwest and getting home Friday, he learned 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.”