Stories

Airline nightmare after Orlando monorail glitch

Thousands of travelers were delayed Wednesday at Orlando International Airport after a monorail carrying passengers to nearly 60 gates stopped working. None of the affected airlines ― including American Airlines and United ― had representatives available to speak with passengers on-site during the delay, and passengers reported waits as long as two hours to get from security to their gates.

Contingency plan: The initial decision to only deploy four shuttle buses vehicles caused a massive backup. This was exacerbated by buses being loaded next to active JetBlue gates, causing them to often remained parked. An airport employee told some frustrated passengers that it would be "illegal" to walk along the unused monorail ("it's an active construction zone") but, one hour later, that's exactly what happened.

Traveler rights: Some flights were delayed, including those that had crew stuck in the mess, and it appeared that the airlines were trying to accommodate many of those who missed flights. In general, the airlines were under little obligation to provide refunds or alternate routing, given that this was an airport operations error.