SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The travel mess at SFO continued Monday with passengers stuck as runway repairs impacted hundreds of flights.
Repaving work on the San Francisco International Airport’s busy runway 28L has caused headaches for travelers since Saturday.READ MORE: UPDATE: 15 Injured, 20 Rescued After Fire Erupts Inside San Francisco Tenderloin Apartment Building
On Monday, there were a total of 276 delayed flights and 124 cancellations. Three flights were actually diverted to the Oakland Airport.
“We didn’t really get any notice until, literally, we were on the plane. When I landed I looked at the phone and the flight was canceled, and here we are.”
Fernando Alvier and his family are a pretty good example of those snagged by the SFO runway improvements. They landed from an international flight in sunny San Francisco, only to find the departure board looking more like it might during a winter storm.
“We’re gonna try to scramble and find a flight to get him home,” Alvier said as he took his luggage to the ticket counter.READ MORE: UPDATE: Willow Fire Grows Past 2,000 Acres Near Big Sur, Evacuations Ordered
“So we’re in the midst of a project to install a new base layer beneath the surface of 28 left,” explained airport spokesman Doug Yakel. “We’ve gotten down to that base layer which is really an area that hasn’t been touched for about 50 to 60 years.”
So why the delays and cancellations when the runway work was planned well ahead of time? Yakel says the flight scheduling is largely up to the airlines. They chose to cut back by about 13 percent.
“All of these reductions are voluntary,” Yakel said. “In other words, airports don’t have the authority to tell airline how many flights to operate. So, ultimately, it comes down to an airline business decision in terms of reducing their flight schedules.”
Anyone planning a trip though SFO in the coming days is being encouraged to keep the runway work in mind, and keep an eye on their flight schedule.
The goal is to have the runway work finished by September 27th.MORE NEWS: West Nile Virus Found in Mosquitos in Stockton