Airport Crowds Are Back and Travelers Say So Are the Headaches

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The San Francisco International Airport felt empty during the pandemic, but now, crowds are back and some travelers say that so are the headaches.

Hoping to keep customers happy, airlines say they are bringing staff back and hiring new staff, preparing to handle holiday crowds.

But passengers said Thursday that there are hiccups with crowds swarming an industry that scaled back staffing during the COVID lull.

Now the effort to ramp back up is underway.

American Airlines sent a memo to all flight attendants, telling more than 3,000 employees extended leave is over and they should prepare to return to work in November and December for the holiday travel season.

Delta Airlines says it's hoping to hire thousands of workers to staff everything from reservations to in-flight service.

After the hectic summer travel season, Raul Bicardo said he'll avoid holiday travel. 

“Maybe not with my experience,” he said. “Can you imagine what it will be like during the holidays?”

Some who are hoping for an international holiday adventure may run into another long line -- this time for a passport.

The U.S. State Department says with 2 million applications for renewal, it’s taking three to four months to get through the process. 

“Put in for renewal. I haven't heard back. It's been 45 days,” said a traveler.

A backlog that will force some to change plans.

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