Department of Transportation cracking down on airlines for travel disruptions

NOW: Department of Transportation cracking down on airlines for travel disruptions

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Department of Transportation is threatening to crack down on airlines amid flight delays and cancellations throughout the summer.

the DOT says airlines need to be held accountable for these major disruptions.

A Milwaukee resident who had a trip planned to Mexico in July echoes the department's sentiment, saying her recent travels have left her traumatized.

"Hot and humid, it was completely packed, there were hundreds of angry people who had their flights cancelled just pure chaos everywhere," said Jade Bell.

Instead of images of the sandy beaches of Mexico, Bell of Milwaukee said her trip was a complete bust.

"We had to cancel the whole trip," said Bell.

Bell made it successfully out of Milwaukee to her connecting flight in Dallas, which is where this traveler says her nightmare began.

"We were in line for two and a half hours just to speak with someone, " said Bell.

Arriving at the gate in DFW to board her flight to Mexico she was met with a flight cancellation sign.

Bell said she added her name to the standby list for the next flight, however that proved unsuccessful.

"Your names are not on the standby list and I was completely mortified because eleven hours later only to be told this," said Bell.

The traveler, said the airline tried to offer her a hotel room, but this Milwaukeean couldn’t catch a break.

"The employee wrote us a voucher for a one-night stay in a hotel, we found out that hotel burned out five days prior us to us even landing," said Bell.

However, Bell is not alone in her woes, travel experts say these disruptions stem back to the start of COVID.

"With the airlines having issues with personal it has cost nothing but nightmares for a lot of travelers," said Mark Wimberly, owner of Making Memories Travel.

Now, travelers like Bell are demanding airlines to do what she says is the right thing.

"I want a full refund I mean I think it's completely unreasonable to deduct any portion of it for something that was completely out of my control," said Bell.

Experts say a major source of these airline disruptions stem from labor shortage.

"Pilots took buyouts to leave the airlines, those were all senior employees, a lot of them were close to retirement, and then when it rebounded as quick as it did, these pilots are not back, and to get new pilots up and trained takes a long time," said Wimberly.

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