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Holiday travel nightmares continue for some passengers at Cleveland Hopkins airport

"There's absolutely no communication, I called Southwest, they hang up when you try to call."

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The travel nightmares continued Tuesday night for some passengers flying into Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

"It took an hour and a half for my plane to take off because apparently there weren't enough staff to balance the luggage, so the pilot actually got off the plane to go help them balance the luggage," Abby Varela said.

Varela was booked on a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Cleveland to spend the holidays with her family in Ashland.

After multiple delays she ended up stranded in Chicago.

"I had to wait for two and a half hours to get another flight, then at 12:30 in the morning that flight got canceled, then they put me on another one and that flight got canceled, so my dad drove to Chicago five and a half hours to pick me up," Varela said.

Southwest Airlines issued a statement and said in part that the extreme winter weather was to blame. The airline canceled roughly 70 percent of flights this week.

"There's absolutely no communication, I called Southwest, they hang up when you try to call, you cant speak to anyone, they just hang up," Varela said.

Varela told 3News she has not been able to locate her luggage and the company has not helped at all.

"I have medication that I have to take daily which is in the bag because I just assumed I would have my bag, and so I have enough for one day so its in the bag and I don't know where it is," Varela said.

The Better Business Bureau said there are no federal laws that require compensation for a delayed flight but customers are entitled to a refund if it's canceled. The BBB also shared a number of tips for customers experiencing flight issues.

As for reimbursement for expenses like food or hotel rooms, experts said that is not required by federal regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation has an online dashboard to help with consumer protection.

Travel was smooth Tuesday for some passengers like the Kutcel's from Medina.

"We were glad that we had flown with Delta because we had heard less issues with Delta," Kayla Kutcel said.

The family flew back from Ghana in West Africa with no delays and only one issue.

"I think we were expecting more chaos than there was, we didn't have any delays but we're missing a bag right now but hopefully we find it," Kutcel said. 

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