By Alicia Roberts

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The day was anything but merry for many people trying to make their way home from Christmas at the Philadelphia International Airport. Sunday was forecasted to be the third busiest day of travel, and many passengers were frustrated as they tried to finally make their way home.

“Every flight is booked, every airline is booked,” one passenger told CBS3 Sunday, adding, “Leaving was horrible.”

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Across the country, more than 6,000 flights were cancelled this weekend, as many airline workers were quarantined for COVID. That impact felt right here in Philadelphia.

The issues also grounded flights at PHL.

“We were already here through security, sitting waiting at our gate,” Mandy Savitsky said.

Nationwide, Flight Aware says Sunday alone, more than 4,000 flights were delayed with another thousand canceled. Major carriers, including Delta and American Airlines, are citing COVID staffing shortages as part of the issue. Passengers too felt the hassle of heightened protocols.

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“Getting registered to another country, getting tested before you left, we got tested again this morning,” Brian Pyatt, whose flight was delayed, told CBS3. He went to the Bahamas on his honeymoon.

20:40 it’s just sad it just really sad

For the Savitsky family, a canceled Spirit flight means no-go for son Mitchel to meet up with his dance team, after three years of virtual practices during the pandemic

“They cant give us our money back and they have no flights out until Tuesday, and that’s halfway through the trip,” mother Mandy said.

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Many who spoke to CBS3 said the headaches will make them think twice about planning a holiday trip for next year.

Alicia Roberts