SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The number of flights delayed or cancelled continued to soar higher Monday as construction on San Francisco International Airport’s main runway created chaos on Bay Area travel plans.
Airport officials reported by 8 a.m. that there were already 117 flights with canceled delays and another 104 had been cancelled. Meanwhile, the FAA reported delays of nearly 4 hours for incoming flights.
For travelers like Sacramento resident Hortencia Morales it meant an agonizing delay.
“For me it’s frustrating because I don’t deal with change very well and it was a last minute change,” she told KPIX 5.
SFO duty manager Chuck Navigante didn’t offer much hope for improvement to Morales and her fellow travelers.
“It’s pretty much going to remain this was for the duration of the runway work,” he said.
Monday is just Day 3 of a project scheduled for 20 days. On Sunday, 358 flights were delayed and 137 canceled. Monday is a busier travel day with the heaviest travel days falling between Wednesday and Friday.
Chris Woolley flew in from Las Vegas Sunday evening, where the plane sat on the tarmac for an hour.
“It was horrible,” Woolley said. “We just sat on the plane for an hour, with very little information.”
The construction is even slowing down traffic outside the airport as 600 trucks must go in and out of the airport entrance on Old Bayshore Highway and Millbrae Avenue to support the project each day. During the Monday morning rush hour, slow traffic was reported leaving San Francisco on Highway 101.
The delays are impacting international travelers the most–once they miss their connection, they often have to make overnight accommodations until the next batch of flights head out in the morning.
Among those who found themselves spending the day in San Francisco was Houston resident Skyler Kumro. He missed his connection to Tokyo.
“By the time we landed, my connection (to Japan) had already gotten to the runway,” he said. “And they said the next available thing is tomorrow (Monday)… So I said ‘Oh crap.'”
The airlines have cut the number of flights at SFO by about 14% during the construction project.
Airport officials ask that anyone planning to fly out of SFO in the next 18 days, or meet an arriving flight, to check with the specific airline on the status of any given flight before making plans. Officials also suggested travelers book early morning flights that depart before 9 a.m. during the runway shutdown.
© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. KPIX 5’s Andrea Nakano and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.