Bay Area airports see cancellations, delays as powerful winter storm disrupts holiday travel

ByLena Howland, Suzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, December 23, 2022
Bay Area airports see cancellations as winter storm disrupts travel
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SFO, Oakland International, Mineta San Jose seeing flight cancellations, delays due to bomb cyclone, winter storm.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Winter weather elsewhere in the country has begun to impact the holiday travel plans of Bay Area travelers, who should take extra considerations if they are headed to an airport this week.

Mineta San Jose International Airport has reported a "handful" of canceled flights that were mostly headed to Chicago, Denver, St. Louis and Houston.

RELATED: A 'once in a generation' winter storm will impact nearly every state and cripple Christmas travel

San Francisco International Airport has had 16 cancellations, which SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said is typical for the airport. Four of the canceled flights were headed to Denver. Three were going to Chicago.

Yakel said that travelers headed to areas affected by the winter weather should check their airline's website for options to adjust travel plans before heading to the airport.

Oakland International Airport said it does not share delay and cancellation information at the request of their airlines, but 13 flights have been canceled and 32 have been delayed Thursday, according to flightaware.com.

Craig Hung was one of those travelers that were hit by delays on Thursday. He says it's been a nightmare just trying to get to Bozeman, Montana to meet up with his friends for a ski trip.

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"We tried dozens and dozens of different airports. I've been calling the airlines to try, but there's no availability to land on Christmas so," said Hung.

Hung ultimately had to fly to Salt Lake City and drive six hours to Bozeman.

Scott Whatmore was just trying to get to Sun Valley, Idaho. He faced a four-hour delay.

"Actually, in Sun Valley they had to de-ice the plane. It's just one plane back and forth. So that just put a wrinkle in the plans," said Whatmore.

One woman had her flight to Vancouver, Canada delayed two days.

MORE: What can I do if my flight is canceled, delayed? How to prepare for likely 2022 holiday travel mess

"The weather in Vancouver canceled the flight. So I wait until I can get another flight," said the traveler.

And as hectic as this Thursday was for many travelers, there may be even more headaches Friday at SFO.

"We think actually tomorrow will be our busiest travel day for the Christmas holiday. We are forecasting 136,000 people total in and out of SFO. That number today is 124,000," said Yakel.

He said that the current turnout at SFO is 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels during the 2019 holiday season.

All airports in the region have recommended that travelers download their airline's apps for the most up-to-date information on their upcoming flights and to adjust travel plans if necessary. They should also allow extra time when heading to the airport to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Bay City News Service contributed to this article.

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