Storm causes many delays at Bay Area airports

February 10, 2010 12:22:08 PM PST
The second big snow storm to slam the East Coast in a week is having a ripple effect on Bay Area airports. Dozens of flights are delayed or canceled. Dulles International in Washington, D.C. was shut down until Thursday morning. Blizzard warnings are in effect. The government shut down for the third straight day.

The snowstorm is causing headaches for people from Virginia to Connecticut to New York. More than a million kids got a rare snow day when schools shut down; it's only the third snow day in six years.

There are lots of cancellations at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and stranded passengers are sleeping at the airport.

The Bay Area's three major airports have also had a number of cancellations and delays. At about 11 a.m., the number of flights cancelled in and out of SFO was 58; Mineta San Jose International Airport had four cancelled flights, two departing, two arriving and Oakland had just one cancelled flight. These cancellations of course are a fluid situation -- like the weather.

Airline passenger John Wasson is one of many whose flights were cancelled out of SFO Wednesday morning because of the major blizzard crippling parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, but he took the storm delays in stride.

"I kind of expected it with the weather the way it's been," said Wasson.

He got the first leg of his flight to Washington D.C. rebooked; D.C. is one of many cities getting inundated with up to a foot or more of snow with just this storm. It's so bad, for example in D.C., that officials have pulled plows off the roads. Part of the roof of a Smithsonian Institution storage building collapsed under heavy snow. More than 6,000 flights have already been canceled in the eastern seaboard region and that leaves those on the West Coast stranded, for now.

"I need to head out to JFK and take an international flight to Tel Aviv, after not being at home for 10 days, so I really want to make this flight," said Eedo from Tel Aviv, Israel.

"Do you think you will?" asked ABC7's Teresa Garcia.

"I won't, I'm looking at some other alternatives," said Eedo.

Alternatives would be welcome for a group of 30 from China. They're traveling the U.S.

"We first fly to New York, but the weather in here is very bad," said a delayed passenger from China.

So for now, they wait and hope to hop on an afternoon flight, weather permitting.

New York, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and D.C. are just some of the cities where the storm is crippling air travel, but a majority of passengers did get a heads-up.

"What the airlines have done is they actually cancelled most of these flights yesterday, so that way when customers when call in they know the status of their flights. So that's why you don't see many customers in the lobby waiting to be rebooked," said SFO airport duty manager Bob Rotiski.