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Airports nationwide, including Cleveland Hopkins, continue to deal with disruptions

Passengers blame parking, long lines, lack of rental cars, and delays/cancellations
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Posted at 7:58 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 07:58:18-04

CLEVELAND — For many, spring break is in the rearview mirror, but the crowds at airports nationwide continue and travelers told News 5 they’re still dealing with headaches, from cancellations to packed parking lots and difficulties securing rental cars.

In the span of a long weekend, Christine Hubeler and her husband Josh dealt with a full house of travel problems when their Spirit Airlines departing flight to Atlanta was delayed, their return flight to Cleveland was canceled, and the two had difficulty securing another way home.

“We looked for rental cars, and looked for other flights,” she said over the phone while driving through Kentucky. “It was just impossible.”

The two were ultimately able to secure a rental and spent much of their Sunday on a 10.5-hour drive from Georgia to Ohio.

At Cleveland Hopkins International Airport over the weekend, leaders told News 5 they aren’t seeing as much of a negative impact on travelers as other airports across the country, but they are seeing a surge in passengers, with a faster recovery than originally predicted.

We're about 93% of where we were in 2019, and the spring break has definitely brought everyone out,” John Hogan, Deputy Chief Marketing and Air Service Development at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, said. “Everyone's anxious to see the world and we can see it quite evidently at Hopkins on a daily basis.” 

According to FlightAware Sunday evening, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport dealt with 9 cancellations between departures and arrivals for the day, with another 50 delays as well.

CLE JAN-MAR 2022 vs 2019 JH.png

Hogan added their initial forecast only predicted 80-90% compared to pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. He said they expect a full recovery in 2023. 

“We've seen very little disruption at Hopkins due to what has been happening,” he said. “When you look at the labor shortages, [it’s] not only in the aviation industry, but in all industries. I think that if you plan accordingly, you're able to adjust a whole lot better and a whole lot quicker if you give yourself a little bit of extra time.”

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A breakdown of which airlines passengers used in Cleveland in 2021.

“You have to expect that at this point in time, something's going to happen,” Hubeler added. “Nothing's going to be smooth.”