SFO flights to East Coast canceled due to incoming blizzard

Byby Cornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, January 22, 2016
SFO flights to East Coast canceled due to incoming blizzard
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Passengers scrambled Thursday night to grab a flight out of SFO to the East Coast before airports there shut down due to a blizzard.

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- While the Bay Area will see rain on Friday, the East Coast is getting ready for a huge blizzard.

About 60 million people are in the path of this snowstorm, including some of the largest cities in the country such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. More than 20 inches of snowfall is expected in some areas.

All that snow is creating a travel nightmare for airline passengers at San Francisco International Airport. Thousands of flights nationwide have already been canceled. As many as 200,000 travelers could be impacted by this epic winter storm over the next four days.

VIDEO: East Coast bracing for fierce record snowstorm

Thursday night, many were racing against time to get home before the blizzard hits.

The weather map at the American Airlines ticket counter was hard to miss because a monster winter storm creeping north. Flights headed to the East Coast from SFO are changing from "on time" to "canceled" by the minute.

"Philadelphia I think is going to take a big hit, but I'm taking the red eye hoping to get there before the storm gets there," Pennsylvania resident Barby Biggs said.

Biggs canceled her business trip in Santa Clara a day early because she is hoping to make it home to Hershey, Pennsylvania ahead of a storm which could dump as much is 30 inches of snow throughout the mid-Atlantic in Northeast. An emergency has been declared in several states.

Several flights for East Coast cities like Charlotte and Washington, D.C. are canceled from SFO and 2,100 flights were canceled for Friday nationwide.

Zerihun Haileselassie is trying to get home to Maryland. His flight on Saturday was just canceled. He said, "My wife and two kids are by themselves, so I just want to make sure I get home safe to help shovel the snow."

Travis Fones is heading for Annapolis where food and supplies will be hard to find.

"Two or 22 inches where I live, everyone treats it the same way. They freak out no matter what, so there's no food, no toilet paper, no milk because that's what you need to survive in the snow," Fones said.

Most airlines will allow you to change your flight for free.

"They are all making temporary changes that allow people that held tickets to the Northeast to change those tickets, to change those travel plans, without having to pay additional fees," SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

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