Rows of unclaimed baggage fill up Houston airport as more flights get delayed, canceled

On Christmas Day, there were 3,178 flights canceled and 6,870 flight delayed, according to FlightAware.

Rosie Nguyen Image
Monday, December 26, 2022
Winter weather domino effect: Long lines and baggage backup at Hobby
We have bad news for anyone flying out of Houston airports on Monday. Here are the delays, cancellations, and luggage backups our ABC13 cameras saw.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Travelers at one Houston airport dealt with what many consider a travel nightmare as flight delays and cancellations caused a major backup at its baggage claim office.

Video from our sister station KTRK-TV in Houston showed a sea of unclaimed luggage sitting at Hobby airport on Monday. You can see rows of suitcases filling up most of the baggage claim area.

As of 11 a.m. CT, a reported 30 Southwest flights were canceled out of Hobby Airport.

A representative with the airline sent KTRK a statement saying that their teams are still experiencing disruptions across their network due to Winter Storm Elliott.

They were working to re-accommodate as many passengers as possible based on available space.

One Houston couple said they had their flight to New Orleans canceled on Sunday shortly before it was supposed to take off.

They had to drive back to Houston on Monday in hopes of tracking down their luggage.

"I was told that our bags went to New Orleans. So what we don't understand is if there was a flight that went to New Orleans, why was it not taking us with our bags as opposed to telling us we couldn't get on the plane and taking our bags instead?" said Chris Murray.

The winter storm that swept across the United States was ill-timed for travelers who had started pushing Christmas week flying numbers back toward pre-pandemic levels.

On Christmas Day, there were 3,178 flights canceled and 6,870 flight delayed, according to FlightAware.

On Christmas Eve, there were a total of 3,487 flights canceled, according to FlightAware.

Friday was the worst day of this streak with 5,934 cancellations, while Thursday saw almost 2,700 cancellations.

This megablast of winter weather across the eastern two-thirds of the nation is forecast to slowly moderate this week.

CNN contributed to this report.