A number of factors came together here, and once again, the blame goes to multiple parties.
Last weekend was the start of the spring break travel season. While early for most colleges, schools, and families, this week, many public schools in Southeastern Michigan are out on break. Its a weird time, but many schools are out for the week, or get a long weekend coming up over the President's Day holiday. NW
also significantly beefed up their schedule beginning over the weekend, through April. NW
cut significant capacity during the slowest time of the year: early Jan through mid-Feb. Many flights came back now.
were not adequately staffed to handle the rapid increase that occured basically overnight. NW
has made several changes to the check-in areas in DTW
over the past year, including the new E-ticket center in the parking deck, and the addition of all the E-ticket luggage check-in stations on the main level. This time of the year you see a lot of "Joe Tourists, backpacker crowd, once-a-year fliers" This means many people unfamiliar with the E-ticket kiosks, unfamiliar with flying and the airport, a larger percentage of checked luggage, and a heck of a lot more bags in the first place.
Additionally, Pinnacle's SOC in MEM
had a power failure Sunday evening that cancelled & delayed numerous flights system-wide. Many CRJ flights Sunday evening in all 3 hubs were affected by this.