AUSTIN, Texas – Due to the power outage at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Wednesday morning, Austin police closed down access roads to AUS.
Amid the chaos, some travelers abandoned ride-shares, even their own vehicles on the side of the highway, and walked to the airport. Some people said they walked several miles to get to the airport.
First, came the wait.
“We stayed actually backed up for like two something, like two and a half hours, me and the Lyft driver,” said Erris Gough, who walked to the airport.
Then, came the walk.
“She was stopped by, I guess, somebody who works here security. And they were like, ‘hey, operations are shut down for today, and you have to walk the rest of the way.’ So I got out and I walked,” Gough said.
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It was a three to four-mile walk along the highway, and Gough said he was not the only one. He said there were plenty of other people.
“We were just voicing our frustration. A couple of words I can’t say right here, but, you know, we were extremely unimpressed with it,” he said.
“Any time there’s an irregular operation, where safety is top of mind for the airport, we will often close off access to the roadways. And that’s really to prevent introducing more passengers to a situation that’s unfolding,” said Sam Hayes, spokesperson for AUS.
Still, Hayes said all that walking for travelers was a result of miscommunication.
“That’s not something that the airport was recommending. We’re actually asking passengers not to abandon their vehicles and not to get out of their cars,” Hayes said.
Still, if another outage or something similar happens at AUS in the future, they will continue to close down roads and stand by the policy.
For many travelers, the wait is still not over. There were several flight cancelations and some people cannot get on flights until Thursday.
Gough, who is flying with Spirit, was not only charged $50 to change flights, but he isn’t given any kind of hotel voucher from the airport. He said he plans to sleep at the airport.
At this time, AUS nor Austin police have responded to FOX 7 Austin’s request for a comment.