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Rental cars left abandoned lead to hours-long traffic jam at airport

(Jeff Gluck/Twitter)

After a high-traffic weekend at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, passengers reported crazy long lines and traffic jams disrupting their travel plans.


According to an ABIA spokesperson, 30,991 passengers passed through TSA on Sunday, marking the ninth busiest day in the airport’s history, and 28,651 are projected for today. Nearly 9,000 of Sunday's passengers came in before 8 a.m.

With NASCAR, Texas Relays and Dell Match Play in town over the weekend, a high volume of passengers was to be expected. However, the lines were much more chaotic for those returning rental cars Monday morning.

The spokesperson said that the jam started when a rental car stalled out at the drop-off curb and employees instructed them to leave it with the keys inside. Other passengers then followed suit, leaving a long line of empty cars and no way out.

Jeff Gluck documented his experience on Twitter while dropping off his rental car this morning, saying he couldn’t find any employees and waited for 10 minutes before ditching his car.

“I ended up just ditching mine in the road with everyone else. Keys still in it!” Gluck said on Twitter. “Hope they don’t charge us.”

One traveler, Joey Dillon, said he had to abandon both of his rental cars on the road lest he lose his flight to Columbus, Ohio.

Airport staff have confirmed the jam is cleared up this afternoon, after the airport called the rental car company to request extra staff. Operations have resumed as normal.

“In response to the strong demand for air travel, AUS continues to expedite terminal improvements through the Airport Expansion and Development Program and through working alongside our partners, like the TSA, to fill staff vacancies,” ABIA said in a statement. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of our passengers and continue to ask them to plan ahead, arrive early and show kindness to airport and airline staff who are working hard to get them safely to their destination.”

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway