TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Flight delays are stacking up across the United States – and Tampa International Airport is seeing its share of trouble.
Ben Gold found himself stuck in the mess on Friday, trying to fly out of Tampa to Richmond, Virginia.
“I booked a flight to Richmond through a third party and I showed up at the airport and it was canceled,” Gold said. “I didn’t receive any notification or anything.”
Gold said he flies a lot for work and has had a number of flights canceled or delayed recently.
“Often times it’s something that’s equated to weather but usually that’s not quite the story,” he said. “Usually it’s – ‘we have another pilot coming in because of crew rest’ or usually what it boils down to is a lack of personnel.”
Florida is one of the biggest choke points for travel in the U.S. Passenger traffic has surged more than 100% over pre-pandemic levels.
Traffic is up at virtually every airport in Florida. Sarasota is up 133%, Miami is up 113% and Tampa is up 105%.
American Airlines says they are trying to hire 2,000 pilots this year to keep up with demand, but the training of those pilots takes time.
Ben Gold says he just want to make it to Richmond by Friday night.
“It’s just happened to me so many times in the last month or two that’s it’s kind of expected to be in some sort of state of chaos,” said Gold.