Stranded luggage piles up at Austin airport

Luggage upon luggage at ABIA on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 after weather forces delays and cancellations. (KXAN Photo/Heather Irving)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Frustrated travelers line up at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport waiting to see if their flights have been cancelled.

A sea of luggage sits in the airport from cancelled connecting flights. Nation-wide more than 2,800 flights have been cancelled due to the large storm system sweeping across the county. The number of cancellations is 14 times the national average.

The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport cancelled 365 flights over the past few days due to the damage caused by multiple tornadoes.

Travelers are having to deal with long lines and short tempers.

“I had no idea it would be like this, I knew the weather was pretty bad, but I didn’t know that I was going to wait in a line all morning,” said Cody Weir.

Others are trying to stay calm after finding out they may have to stay another night in Austin.

“I just try not to get mad at the airport employees and get mad at the airport itself I guess, but I don’t know, it’s a nightmare.” said traveler Cameron Njaa.

But for some Austin residents the nightmare lasted days.

We met with one couple coming back Saturday from India who had been looking for their luggage for three days. They tell us that they have driven almost 40 miles daily to check to see if their luggage arrived at ABIA.

One woman who wanted to remain nameless tells us she left on her lunch break to see if her bags had finally arrived. She too landed at ABIA after traveling to Michigan three days ago.

“My life is in here, like everything I own because I was gone for two weeks. All of my clothes, Christmas gifts, everything. I just purchased new clothes for winter to go to Michigan. Everything was in there literally,” the local resident tells us.

Another frustrated flyer is Jennifer Alteri, who flew in from LAX. She had to search through all of the luggage to locate her son’s booster seat. But what was more frustrating for her was the fact that she felt like there was no security.

“Start checking, actually checking the tags of people walking out of here. Or at least the names. Check your ID. Or make it so people cannot just walk in, you can walk right in, the door is right there,” Alteri suggests.

An ABIA spokesperson says that ultimately, airlines are responsible for a passenger’s bag from the time they’re checked in until it is picked up by its owner.

So we called American Airlines and their spokesperson says employees in their baggage claim office keep an eye on the bags.

Always be sure to check your flight’s status before heading to ABIA.

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