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Hundreds Of Flight Cancellations And Delays Make Travel Out Of LAX Tough

A long line of people with luggage in an airport with white pillars and walls and a speckled shiny floor.
People wait in a four-hour line to rebook Southwest flights at LAX on Dec. 26, 2022.
(Erin Stone
/
LAist)
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The day after Christmas proved to be a tough one for holiday travelers. At LAX as of 3 p.m., there were more than 160 flights cancelled and more than 260 flights delayed.

Still, travelers I spoke with tried to keep it from dampening their holiday spirit too much.

Melissa Trujillo and her three kids spent Christmas at Disneyland. When I spoke with them, instead of waiting to get on Splash Mountain, they were in a three-hour line to get a new flight home to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We had a great time and we’re exhausted...we just wanna go to our beds, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening today,” she said with a laugh. They’d checked out rental cars too, but no luck there either.

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“I mean, I guess there are worse places to be stuck,” Trujillo added.

Four people with luggage. A young woman wearing a black sweatshirt and shorts smiles while standing at the left. On the right, her mother smiles and stands wearing a yellow Lakers shirt and purple Lakers sweatpants. At center a young man in a black t-shirt and young woman in black sweatshirt and pants sit on the ground, leaning against a marble wall, smiling.
Melissa Trujillo, right, and her kids went to Disneyland for Christmas and were waiting in a long line at LAX to get a flight back home to New Mexico on Dec. 26, 2022.
(Erin Stone
/
LAist)

Jordan Harris was wheeling her 2-year-old son in circles in a stroller, trying to entertain him as her husband waited with their 5-year-old in a line that twisted around where she stood. Home is L.A., but they were trying to get to New Orleans to see her husband’s family for the new year.

“We’ve been here for about four hours now with two small kids, so I’ve just been the self-designated, unpaid Southwest employee directing traffic and telling everyone where to go,” she said with a wry smile. “We’ve gone through all of our airplane snacks, all of our airplane activities, so we’ll see what the flight — if we get on it — entails in terms of entertainment.”

Richard Strong spent Christmas with his siblings in Rancho Cucamonga — his brother is terminally ill, so he said he wanted to be sure to fly back to California to spend the holiday with all his siblings together, potentially for the last time.

“I had a great time, great Christmas with all my siblings…until I got here [to LAX],” he said. “They say I’m not going to get on a plane probably ‘til Thursday morning.”

A man smiles and wears a brown jacket, maroon shirt and jeans with each hand on the handle of a suitcase. A crowd of people are behind him.
Richard Strong spent Christmas with his siblings in Rancho Cucamonga and was trying to get back home to Little Rock, Arkansas, on Dec. 26, 2022.
(Erin Stone
/
LAist)

He grew up in the L.A. area, but his home is Little Rock, Arkansas, where he works as a restaurant manager — and the week before New Years is a busy one for them. Despite waiting in a line that stretched painfully long, he managed to stay positive.

“There’s bad weather in the East and Midwest last few days, I understand,” he said with a shrug and smile. “I’m not happy about it, but what can you do? At least we’re still alive, right?”

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