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Report from Reagan Airport

Flying out of Washington today? If so, Post reporter Yamiche Alcindor -- at Reagan National Airport -- has some suggestions. Travelers should avoid checking bags if at all possible because of the overwhelming lines, she said. She also suggested not relying on cabs -- she called one cab company at 5:20 a.m., was on hold for 45 minutes and a cab wasn't dispatched until 7 a.m. She gave up and took the bus, which resulted in her actually arriving at the airport.

As for the airport itself, the scene is what you'd expect: Hundreds of people lining the walls, she said. Lines at Delta, American, US Airways and others stretched down walls with more than a hundred people in each line, including frustrated travelers yelling at airport staff and one another. The lines for the self service counters didn't appear to be moving.

By comparison, the line at security was mostly empty due to everyone being in line to check in. People waiting at their gates are sharing horror stories and hoping their planes take off on time. Expect this to last through much of the day.

By Mark Berman  |  December 21, 2009; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  
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My husband was in line yesterday for 4 hours, trying to check in for an American Airlines flight that was supposed to leave at 6:25pm and that apparently left at 11pm. He had a connection in Miami for his flight to Montevideo, Uruguay at 11:10pm. Needless to say he did not make either flight and the earliest American could accommodate him was 12/26. He said it was the WORST organization from AA personnel. They never communicated anything to the people in line, nor even to let them know they should stay in line because flights were being delayed to that extent. They also allowed people to cut in line (or at least did not prevent it), delaying people at the end of the line even more. Because AA was not processing the people who actually had confirmed seats in a manner so they can make their flights, EVERYONE IN LINE was missing their flights! So not only the passengers who were not able to depart on Saturday were being stranded, but all those people who were scheduled to depart on Sunday were being stranded. And for us that meant that my young child and myself (who are in Uruguay already) will spend Christmas without my husband. American Airlines had a tough job yesterday, but their personnel made it 1000 times worse by not organizing people in lines according to flight schedules and continue to strand passengers. It was horrible enough for some customers...why did they have to make it horrible for ALL their customers!!?? Very poor customer service and organization from their part. EVERYONE lost yesterday.

Posted by: virginiaparis | December 21, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Any updates on the airports (particularly DCA) for Tuesday? Have they gotten through the backlog or should we still plan on getting there 4-5 hours ahead of the flight just to get through check-in?

Posted by: EFroh | December 22, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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