Southwest resumes service to Arizona and SoCal

January 22, 2010 6:24:08 AM PST
Southwest Airlines is recovering from paralyzing delays and cancellations caused by storms in the west, but, the airline is warning travelers more problems are possible on Friday.

Cancellations happened at all three Bay Area airports, but the most affected was Oakland, with dozens of flights cancelled Thursday to and from Southern California and Arizona because of dangerous weather.

Conditions on Friday have improved and Southwest Airlines is resuming flights, but that could change -- forecasters are predicting more debilitating winter storms in the southwest region.

The flight monitors said it all ? 'cancelled' became the common word amongst all those passengers trying to fly between the Bay Area and Southern California or the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Thursday afternoon and through the evening.

A combination of heavy rain, snow and dangerous crosswinds caused hundreds of flight cancellations on Southwest Airlines. Passengers at Oakland International Airport were lining up at the ticket counter, trying to book another flight out. Others who thought they'd have a chance of getting out ended up going nowhere.

Altogether, Southwest cancelled more than 400 flights going to and from airports at Burbank, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson. With few options remaining, some passengers decided to rent a car and drive down to Southern California.

It may turn tough on Friday to fly to Arizona -- the National Weather Service predicts heavy snow for the state's mountainous regions, and up to 7 inches of rain through today in the Phoenix area.