Airlines and passengers saw one of the worst days for flight cancellation because thunderstorms from Texas to US East Coast disrupted air traffic. According to a Washington Post report, 1,485 flights were cancelled and over 6,000 were delayed. American, Southwest and United were the hardest hit among major airlines, said the outlet. It cited data from FlightAware to say that 39 per cent of American Airline's flights were delayed, while the percentage stood at 40 for Southwest. The flight tracking website also said that 52 per cent flight schedule of JetBlue was also disrupted due to bad weather.
The passengers who reached airports to board the flights posted about their harrowing experience on social media. The complained about multiple cancellations in one day, seemingly endless customer service lines and hours spent on tarmac during taxiing of plane.
"Last night was a disaster," Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, was quoted as saying by the Post.
One of the passengers was New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi, who said on Twitter that her United Airlines plane for Newark to Denver fight stayed on the runway for six hours and finally returned to the terminal as it "no longer had enough fuel".
After a lengthy delay, the passengers were told to disembark the plane so that it could be refuelled and boarding can start again, Ms Tabuchi said in a subsequent tweet.
Another passenger Sherrie Wallace, who reached LaGuardia airport to reach home to Ohio, told CBS News that her flight never took off. "I'm still here 24 hours later. My flight was delayed once, twice, three times and then a fourth time ... They then told us the flight was cancelled," she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the average delay across the national airspace system on Monday was 37 minutes, and 92 per cent was due to weather, five per cent was due to volume and only three per cent was due to staffing.