SAN FRANCISCO - United Airlines says it’s expecting fewer delays this holiday weekend after thousands of flight cancellations and delays this week.
But some travelers at San Francisco International Airport say they’re still struggling to catch a flight.
On Thursday, 302 flights were delayed and 51 were canceled in San Francisco.
"We the passengers, would like for them to get back to the friendly skies," said Darryl Turner, from Hollywood, Fla.
Turner and his wife say they came to the Bay Area from Florida for a family reunion.
But when their United Airlines flight was canceled on Tuesday, they had to find hotels in nearby cities.
"Coming back from Half Moon Bay; that was a $150 for the cab, just to get back here. Then another $70 - $80 to get to the hotel in Redwood City because there was no transportation. No shuttle, they said they had a shuttle," Turner said.
With millions of travelers expecting to fly this weekend for the 4th of July holiday, most of the delays have been weather-related or caused by staffing shortages.
United Airlines released this statement Thursday morning, saying in part:
"We’re beginning to see improvement across our operation. We expect to cancel far fewer seats today compared to yesterday and our baggage backlog at Newark has dropped more than 30% since Tuesday, and off-duty flight attendants are calling in from across the country to staff open trips. It’s all-hands-on-deck as our pilots get aircraft moving, contact center teams work overtime to take care of our customers, and our airport customer service staff works tirelessly to deliver bags and board flights. As our operation improves in the days ahead, we will be on track to restore our operation for the holiday weekend."
But for those whose flights have been canceled in San Francisco, the experience doesn’t seem to be improving at all.
Adam Babendir says he’s trying to fly his daughter and her cousin to Omaha.
"The attendant up there just informed us that the next flight out isn’t until July 2 and that would cut my daughter’s time out there almost in half," Babendir said.
Delays and cancellations also caused hundreds of pieces of luggage to be misplaced at baggage claim.
This missionary group says they flew from a humanitarian trip in Nairobi and were on a connecting flight to Utah, when they were told to get off the plane because the flight had been canceled.
"So, there’s been a wealth of flights that have been canceled, but we’re stranded here with 17 youth and 41 of us altogether. Now we’re hoping United will get a bus for us to get back or anything," said Dennis from Salt Lake City.
Friday is also the deadline for airlines to have completed 5G upgrades for their domestic planes.
The Dept. of Transportation says about 80% of them have done it already but without the upgrades, radio interference could cause more delays and cancelations throughout the country this busy travel weekend.