Get comfortable: Airlines cancel more flights - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Get comfortable: Airlines cancel more flights

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This massive storm has been a real headache for travelers. Some 12,000 flights were canceled Monday, bringing air travel to a standstill at several of the nation's busiest airports.

It meant that millions of people had to sit and wait it out. That includes thousands of passengers out at Sky Harbor.

Some of the people we talked to were just happy to be stranded in some beautiful weather. But a lot of them who live back east just want to get back and see what's left of their home.

They're not just spending one night here. They're stuck here until Friday. That's the earliest flight some people could get and they're not the only ones stranded.

"They canceled our flight, we were supposed to leave Tuesday, they canceled again so now we're Friday," says Chris Smego from New Jersey.

Smego and his wife are in Phoenix for work and to celebrate their two year wedding anniversary. The couple has now found themselves on an unexpected, extended vacation.

They've been here since Thursday, but work's no longer footing the bill.

"Because we stayed an extra day as vacation now it's on us, got to love it," says Andrea Smego.

They're not alone. Joe Sandri's flight back east got canceled. Instead of going to Pennsylvania he and his friends got a flight to Charlotte.

"Then we're going to rent a car and drive Charlotte to Mechanicsburg, 6.5 hour drive… just get east," says Sandri. "We got the last vehicle in Charlotte, the last SUV."

Volunteer Karen Denton is an airport navigator at Sky Harbor.

"We help people, we help passengers."

During her first hour at work Monday, Denton helped 3 stranded passengers find a place to go.

"They get here then they can't go on so they will be spending the night, maybe two, just depends how long that storms going to hit and the airlines aren't going to fly," says Denton.

Andrea and Chris Smego are staying at a Phoenix hotel. They are not only worried about getting back to New Jersey -- but about what's going to greet them there when they do.

"Our landlord called and said a tree's about to go on his car and we're hoping my car isn't taken away by the water that's 12 inches now," says Andrea.

"We just want to go home that's all, just home," says Chris.

So what if you're stranded at the airport and don't have money to stay at a hotel or even buy food? It happens.

Nancy Tyler works at the Sky Harbor Chapel. She helps travelers who have fallen on hard times, like one woman who was moving to New Jersey but got stuck at Sky Harbor Monday.

"She was relocating, her husband passed away from cancer, she used all her funds for this," says Tyler. "Since the airport is safe she decided to stay here, because she's leaving tomorrow and we provided a meal for her and will also provide meals tomorrow for her."

No one's certain when flights to the east coast will resume. Tyler says they'll see more stranded passengers in need of more than just a flight home.

"We expect to see more people and we're here, available to help them here at Travelers Aid, and we'll do everything in our power to get the resources they need."

Airlines won't pay for hotels for passengers when a natural event keeps them from flying. They remind fliers to check their flight's status before heading out.

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