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Bad weather may cause problems for airline passengers

By Staff | Dec 23, 2008

A major weather disturbance is moving across the northeastern United States, and officials from Southwest Florida International Airport recommend that holiday travelers check the status of their flights over the next two days.
According to a report from AccuWeather.com, two low-pressure fronts carrying heavy snow are moving across major New England cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit. Those travelers heading to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle also will run into a storm on the West Coast.
AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno predicts travel delays at airports in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Philadelphia; Boston; and Pittsburgh.
“It is hard with weather to forecast what will happen,” said Barbara-Anne Urrutia, spokesperson for the Southwest Florida International Airport.
The airport dealt with some delays Tuesday, ranging from 15 minutes to one hour, she said. One flight into Milwaukee was canceled because of bad weather.
“On Monday we were catching up from Friday and the weekend,” said Urrutia. “This morning things seem to be clearing out.”
Christmas and Thanksgiving are the biggest travel days throughout the year. According to AAA, 63.9 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Christmas.
The local airport will not have official travel numbers until next year, but Urrutia said the next two days will be busy with people coming and going in a constant flow.
Because poor weather will have such a profound affect on travel plans, officials from the airport recommend that travelers check the status of their flights.
“If they are traveling to a place having inclement weather, contact their airlines because they are the ones who make the decisions to adjust their schedules,” said Urrutia.
Holiday travelers can check flights at Southwest Florida International Airport’s Web site (www.flylcpa.com) or under each individual airline’s Web site.
The two systems traveling through the northeast are feeding off of warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, according to AccuWeather. They will produce a mix of snow, ice and rain near Chicago and rain across much of the East Coast.