ABIA delays ease up Friday as ice moves out

Omar Lewis/KXAN

The icy conditions left many airline passengers stuck in Austin for the day, while others across the country faced delays getting here.

ABIA had 33 canceled flights today – most of those were departures.  Officials say 29 departures and five arrivals were cancelled Friday. There were also dozens of other flights experiencing delays.

Valerie Pheasant was on her way to Chicago for a conference, but mother nature had other plans.

“I got here and got through security and sat at my gate and found my flight was cancelled,” said Pheasant. “I got my little text. I couldn’t believe it.”

Overnight, crews shut down one of two runways at ABIA because of the ice.  The second runway was de-iced and ready to go for planes to take off and land, but airport officials say once the icy weather started to roll in a ripple of delays and cancellations followed.

Sharon James’ trip from New york was met with a 12 hour delay in Dallas, before she finally arrived in Austin Friday afternoon.

“The flight landed, I look outside and I’m like, ‘Really? This can’t be true – there’s nothing here,” said James. “But I do understand they’re not as equipped to deal with ice as as we are in New York.”

Airport officials expect the long lines to shorten and cancellations to go down throughout the day, however as temperatures drop overnight more delays may be on the way.

A spokesman with ABIA says the best way for passengers to avoid any headaches is to check your flight status online (www.austintexas.gov/airport).  Also, it is recommended that travelers arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their flight leaves.

“So we had to get off the plane go to a different terminal D, get on another plane,” one passenger said with a laugh. “I wanted to do a surprise party for my brother, and here I am the one surprised.”

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