SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Spring Break this year is breaking records for many airports due to a pent-up demand to travel after two years of the pandemic. Florida is a popular destination, but people at the Orlando International Airport have been experiencing added stress due to flight cancellations and delays.

The Hix family in Florida. Submitted by Amy Hix

After a relaxing week on the Florida beaches, the Hix family was greeted with stress at the airport on Friday when trying to get home.

“Once we got through the crazy lines, we found out that our flight was an hour late and then from there they just kept pushing it and changing gates,” Amy Hix said. “Then all of sudden without warning it just came on the board ‘cancelled.'”

Their flight was through Frontier, but many others were also cancelled and hundreds of people were in line to re-book.

“By the time we got up through the line, they pretty much told us there was nothing they could do for us,” Hix said.

Two of the Hix children laying down in the airport. Submitted by Amy Hix.

After finding a new flight home, this time through Allegiant, as well as another hotel to stay in and transportation, the Hix family spent two thousand dollars more than planned for their vacation.

“Yeah, it’s been an absolute mess,” Hix said.

Lorie Buus, a travel agent with All About Travel in Sioux Falls, says she’s been seeing cancellation issues for awhile now because of staff shortages and weather.

“You tend to have less issues when you’re flying with a regular commercial airline,” Buus said. “When you have the airlines that only go certain days of the week, it’s more of an issue because, number one, they only have air space for whatever days of the week that they’re flying and also their crew, you know, limitations on the crew.”

She suggests planning ahead for the possibility of flight cancellations.

“If you have specific dates that you have to fly on and return on, you might want to go with a carrier that offers more flights each day to that particular destination,” Buus said. “And make sure that they fly every day of the week. That’s going to help you if your flight is cancelled, that’s going to allow for a return flight or a departure flight, at least the next day hopefully.”

The Hix family was able to return home today, three days later than planned.