Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Weather causes travel obstacles

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Weather causes travel obstacles
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The skies have not been friendly to travelers so far in 2014. Storms forced the cancelation of more than 33,000 flights during the first three weeks of January according to the data company masFlight. That's more than in the first month of 2013 and 2012 combined. Our Sarah Blazonis joins us from Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, where passengers once again had to deal with the snow.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A handful of flights to and from Hancock were canceled earlier this morning as bad weather hit several states. But some passengers said just because their flights were on time didn't mean smooth travels were ahead.

Vicki Feldman knew there was a chance weather could put the deep freeze on her vacation plans, but she didn't expect what happened just before take-off.

"Something hit the plane," she said. "We were actually sitting near the wing where it hit."

Feldman says a de-icing vehicle struck the plane and the original flight was canceled, and re-booking turned out to be no easy task.

"Delta only has one flight to Colorado, to Aspen, one a day. So there was no other way for them to get us there today, and there's winter storm warnings in Aspen, so we're not sure we can get there tomorrow, either," said Feldman, who lives in Manlius.

It's a predicament other travelers are facing, miss your scheduled flight, and you could be in for a long wait for the next one. Michael Hearns was trying to get to Chicago for work but got caught in traffic on the snowy drive to the airport from his home in Auburn.

"There was an accident, so I missed my first flight, and everything is overbooked because they canceled flights yesterday, so it's looking like a 24 hour delay," Hearns said.

More than 2,800 flights nationwide were canceled by early Wednesday afternoon according to flightaware.com, adding to the backlog of passengers trying to get to their destinations.

But here at Hancock, there were success stories. Bob Stag was headed to Hawaii for his son's wedding. He says he and his wife hit bad weather during their drive to the airport from Homer, but their flight was on time, at least, their first of three.

"We're just gonna hang tough, hope for the best, plan for the worst," Stag said.

Airline officials have not responded to requests for comment about the incident involving the plane and de-icer.

And as usual, airport officials advise travelers to check with airlines about flight statuses before heading out.

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