American Airlines passengers reschedule flights after day of delays, cancellations in Phoenix

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- It's been one of those days for Eddie Woodruff and his wife, Bonnie. After a nice visit with family here in Phoenix, they're headed home to Dallas. Eventually.

"We went through security, the checkpoint and got to our gate and then the board said it was rescheduled ... excuse me just a second," Woodruff said. He'd been on hold with the Airline and he'd finally reached a representative.

They confirmed for the couple that they were one of millions inconvenienced when American's computer system shut down for much of the day Tuesday. Laura Laukitis, of Scottsdale, met the same fate and said she believes the airline is doing what it can.

"Actually they've been very nice," she said.

But, really, she's lucky to be delayed and free to go home. In other parts of the country, American's outage meant hours sitting on the tarmac. So what can you do if that's you? We asked Douglas Kidd, who heads the National Association of Airline Passengers.

"If you're sitting on the tarmac, they've got to give you food and water after two hours and they've got to keep the restrooms open," he said.

But beyond that, you're often at the airline's mercy. Kidd said staying cool and a kind word can also help.

It worked for Woodruff -- just a day later than he preferred. They'll fly out to Denver then Dallas Wednesday morning. He said it's just a sign of the traveling times.

"There's fewer flights, the planes are pretty much full now, and it's to be expected," he said.

Due to the amount of delays and cancellations Tuesday, American Airlines says there will likely still be issues tomorrow. If you're flying American, be sure to check ahead.