Gulfport Passengers Delayed By American's Cancellations

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- American Airlines canceled 900 more flights on Thursday, creating chaos at ticket counters. While mechanics inspected and fixed faulty wiring in MD-80 aircraft, American scrambled to find alternate flights for their passengers.

None of the American Eagle flights into or out of Gulfport were canceled on Thursday. But because connecting flights in Dallas and Chicago got scrubbed again, Gulfport passengers had another very long day at ticket counters.

Kathleen Rennar got the bad news when her camping trip ended, and she showed up at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport.

"Our flight was canceled," she said.

So Rennar patiently sat by the American Eagle ticket counter. She was tired, but not very angry about her air travel predicament.

"No, just a little frustrated," she admitted. "Nothing I can do about it. If I'm angry, then I have two problems."

David Turner had a similar experience. His weekend getaway to Minneapolis started at 5:00 a.m. But Turner's trip to a bachelor party was put in limbo when his connection got canceled.

"They told me to come back four hours later, and I would get to go. I guess we'll see from here," he said.

When that four hour wait ended, Turner got a new ticket, at a Northwest Airlines kiosk.

"American Airlines, Northwest it doesn't matter. As long as I get there," Turner thought.

The arrival board said the 10:25 a.m. American Eagle flight landed in Gulfport on time. But because American Airlines canceled 900 Thursday flights to reinspect its MD-80 aircraft, several passengers arrived a lot later than they expected. At baggage claim, two women heading to a Louisiana wedding explained how they ended up in south Mississippi. Kristen Tibourtine's trip originated in Honolulu.

"They routed us through Baton Rouge, and then that got canceled. And then Lafayette, and that got canceled," she laughed. "And now we're here in Gulfport."

Rennar's long wait to get out of Gulfport was about to be over. The American Eagle agent helping her finally figured out a way to get Rennar back to Minnesota.

"We're going to take a cab to Mobile. And then we'll get home tonight. So that's good," the Duluth, Minnesota woman said.

American Airlines expects to keep many of its planes grounded until Saturday. So if you have a flight on American the next two days, be sure to check in early, to see if the flight has been canceled.