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Why is DFW seeing so many delays and canceled flights?

As travel ramps up for the summer season, travelers are facing major delays and cancellations at the airport.

DALLAS — Monday was a major travel day for thousands of people across the country as they head back home from the holiday weekend. 

With an increase in travel, there is major frustration with flight cancellations, delays and overbooked flights.

There is also a pilot shortage, which makes it even more difficult.

“I’m kind of a calm spirit,” said Pastor Eric Paul from the Forest Hill area of Fort Worth.

Keeping calm and collected, Paul went to Atlanta for Steve Harvey’s mentor camp.

After a great weekend, he got some bad news when he showed up for the flight back to DFW

“30 minutes prior to, the gate was already shut down, closed. They said, 'you missed your flight.' They were overbooked,” said Paul.

WFAA spoke with American Airlines Captain Dennis Tajer who is with the Allied Pilots Association.

“They sold tickets to the traveling public in the spring and over the winter for summer vacation, that they can’t live up to. It’s driving us pilots crazy,” said Tajer.

Across the country, more than 900 flights were canceled on Sunday, with over 6,000 delays, according to Flight Aware.

A Delta spokesperson said it has to do with the combination of bad weather, absences from COVID-19, and staff shortages, which are forcing some major carriers to cancel flights.

“They rob another flight of pilots, plug it in, now that flight is under crisis,” said Tajer.

While airlines understand the frustration of passengers, something you can look out for when you’re waiting for your flight is the wording. You might notice that you won’t see the word "delayed" as much, but may see words like "new time."

“Sometimes when you see a 'new time' at the board, it may be comforting, but when we look closer as pilots, we see there aren’t pilots to match that airplane,” said Tajer.

With the skyrocketing ticket prices and endless delays, it forced Paul to drive. 

“We rented a car, and we drove in 12 hours from Atlanta to Dallas Fort Worth,” said Paul.

Paul still had to drive to the airport after making the drive from Atlanta. 

“I paid for the bags to come with me, the bag arrived, I didn’t!” said Paul.

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