Local News

Old Man Winter Creates Challenge for Air Travelers

Posted January 22, 2000

— The latest blast of winter weather is causing headaches for air travelers up and down the East Coast. Passengers are socked in by snow and ice, and many don't know when they'll get home. "Old Man Winter" is tying up RDU.

Paul McCormack characterized his situation as "like a combination of planes, trains, and automobiles."

McCormack flew to Charlotte Saturday for what he thought would be a one-day business trip.

Then the latest winter storm hit, socking airports in Charlotte and Atlanta with snow and ice.

By Sunday, RDU was the closest McCormack could get to his home in Baltimore.

He did try to reschedule as quickly as possible, but the weather along the eastern seaboard conspired to keep him in North Carolina.

Most of RDU's early flights were canceled Sunday morning.

Many of the flights that did get off the ground were delayed.

Workers scrambled to de-ice planes and get back on schedule.

Waiting passengers caught up on their reading -- or their sleep.

Zandrea Gaston doesn't know when she'll get back to New Jersey.

"I did call this morning. They said everything was fine and the flight would be leaving. It might be a little delayed. But when I got to the airport I found out it was canceled," she said.

Sunday's weather could affect business travelers on Monday. Each night, approximately 50 planes layover at RDU. Should they need de-icing early in the morning, passengers could face another round of delays.

If you are planning to fly tomorrow, you might want to call your airline first. RDU officials say last Tuesday's snow caused delays on Wednesday, and Thursday's snow delayed flights on Friday. There could be delays Monday after today's round of weather problems.

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