Weather wreaks havoc with holiday air travel

Extreme weather in the northeast could make a mess of holiday air travel.
November 26, 2013 8:19:18 PM PST
Extreme weather in the northeast could make a mess of holiday air travel.

Many flights into and out of RDU were canceled or delayed Tuesday on the eve of the one of the biggest air travel days of the year. Most of the delays were from the Northeast

The weather stretched out what should have been a short trip for a lot of folks.

"I've been traveling since 11 o'clock today," said New York traveler Bertha Jackson.

Jackson, who was greeted with hugs and kisses on her 65th birthday, arrived from Brooklyn Tuesday evening -- eight hours and two missed flights late.

"New York's traffic, a little delayed so they left me, and then they tried to get me on another flight," said Jackson. 

You can blame that delay on the wet wintry mix up and down the East Coast, including snow and ice in Pennsylvania and parts of New York and soaking rain all the way from Florida up to New Jersey.

The ripple effect was visible on arrival boards at RDU. Travelers included in those delay was Luis Bermudez's grandmother, whose flight was late from El Paso, Texas.

"It was today because it was delayed an hour, but no it's usually quick," said Bermudez. "You know we park and get her and leave."

It could be worse -- just asked Josh Kahler, who had to wait even longer than expected wearing a tutu and mullet wig to surprise his brother coming in from California.

"It's his birthday," said Kahler. "So, I want to give him a warm North Carolina welcome."

Considering the weather we could face tomorrow, many people are pretty happy they arrived Tuesday night.

"My family is here and this is where I want to be for Thanksgiving," said Jackson.

Officials are urging travelers to check flights before leaving home.

RDU airport officials recommend passengers arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight is scheduled to board. They say many airlines begin boarding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

The busiest travel days during the Thanksgiving holiday will be Wednesday and Sunday. On each of these days, approximately 30,000 passengers will travel through RDU.

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