Almost every day in America, an airline customer experiences incandescent, white-hot rage over a delayed or canceled flight. If you’ve been poking around social media, you might have noticed a little more heat than normal, as widespread delays put Fourth of July weekend travel in chaos.
TikTok creator and airline industry worker Azalia (@azalialexi) recently posted a video hoping to explain some of the mess. The video has almost 181,000 views and 10,000 likes.
@azalialexi i hope everyone gets home, but i figured a more thorough explanation might help #airline #americanairlines #delta #unitedairlines #weather #travel #airport ♬ original sound – Azalia
Azalia started her video by saying she’s seen thousands of posts from people stuck at airports, and she wanted to clear up misinformation. She said that she was actually stranded in San Francisco at the time of filming.
“This all started as a weather event,” she said in the video, citing weather cancellations in Newark, New Jersey.
“Air traffic control then has a massive issue with planes coming out and going in with not only the problem airport but every other airport in the country. That’s why you’re seeing issues across the board,” she said.
The delays cause labor issues, with flight attendants and pilots hitting their ceiling for hours and limited on-call rosters to fill in.
“These people have been working for about 15 hours,” she said, adding that flight attendants are not paid for delays and cancellations.
With schedules for different planes all tangled up, “It’s basically a domino effect,” she said, which can take days to clear up.
“Why was it just #united so screwed up but other airlines survived (except #jetblue) the weather in the NE,” one commenter wrote. Azalia replied, “that’s just not true. many of the other airlines had these issues this week.”
“Imagine if we had trains,” another commenter wrote.
One viewer posed the question, “What’s the explanation for the horrible communication after a canceled flight?” Another commenter replied (and Azalia confirmed), “We literally don’t know until you know. Airport workers get the updates as you’re getting them. It’s not like they know ahead of time.”
“I feel like those that complain so much typically don’t travel as often and don’t understand the crazy process and logistics that go into it,” someone wrote.
“People keep saying there was no rain. I live in NJ and when this started there were some of the most severe storms here I’ve ever seen,” another comment read.
“Thank you girl! I work for an airline in an airport and I have been explaining this for a week. People have been so unkind I’m exhausted,” one person commented.
Azalia’s explanation checks out. According to CBS News, “Strong storms from the Rockies through the Ohio and Tennessee river valleys, and into the mid-Atlantic are to blame for the delays.” (And in the big picture, airline issues are the leading cause for flight delays, according to Axios.)
CNBC reported on passengers’ rights in such situations. Federal law doesn’t require airlines to pay compensation to passengers for delays, they said, but a canceled flight is grounds for a full refund.
Last week, a traveler said on TikTok that United Airlines canceled their flight and left them stranded at an airport for days.
The Daily Dot reached out to Azalia via Instagram direct message.