Storms left hundreds of air travelers stranded Sunday when airlines delayed or canceled dozens of flights.
Southwest Airlines said several planes were on the ground at St. Louis Lambert International Airport when hail fell across the region. A spokesperson sent the following statement by email:
“The aircraft are undergoing inspections following the storm and are returning to service after completing a thorough evaluation. Our Employees are working to reaccommodate any Customers impacted and we apologize for any inconvenience to our Customers.”
Passengers spent hours checking the departure list for updates and waiting to board.
“They just said all the planes were affected by hail and that required the service people to go out and check all the planes which meant all the incoming flights had to be held and they’re on the ground where they were,” said Shelley Romano, “So its pushed everything back for the night, including a lot of flights.”
Romano was in St. Louis for a reunion with some sorority sisters. She and her friend, Susanne Rothery, hoped they wouldn’t get stuck in St. Louis for the night.
“I don’t know,” Rothery said about her own flight. “Meantime were hearing over the loudspeakers cancelations of flights. So going to be a long night.”
Mike Waters was scheduled to fly to Kansas City Tuesday afternoon. He had already boarded his plane when the storm hit.
“We were on the aircraft waiting to push back and it was raining at the time, then that’s when they told us there was going to be a delay,” he said.
“We’ve been sitting here since after 2 p.m.,” added Rich Nulph, who was scheduled for the same flight. “And we keep being told it’s another half hour, it’s another half hour. I’ll believe when I’m on that plane and up in the air.”
Nulph and Waters later said their flight to Kansas City was canceled.