'Hoping for the best': More delays than cancellations at RDU amid winter storm across U.S.

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Friday, December 23, 2022
More delays than cancellations at RDU amid winter storm across U.S.
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The weather outside is frightful, but the conditions at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Thursday was delightful for some passengers.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The weather outside is frightful, but the conditions at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Thursday was delightful for some passengers.

"Right now, it's going good," Ron Briddell said about his flight to St. Louis, Missouri. "It shows on time, so we still got an hour and a half or so to go, so we'll see."

Since people do have a place to go, they're not letting it snow on their parade despite the dozens of delays and cancellations nationwide disrupting holiday travel due to winter weather.

"There's major concerns with us trying to get out of here first, and then St. Louis," Briddell said. "I understand the snow's blowing sideways, it's cold, and it's going to be in single digits, so we're just hoping for the best."

More than 5,000 flights have been canceled nationwide as of Thursday evening, according to Flightaware, which reports Chicago and Denver as the places impacted the hardest.

CHECK YOUR RDU FLIGHT STATUS HERE

There were more delays than cancellations at RDU on Thursday with at least 90 delays as of Thursday evening, according to Flightaware.

"We just arrived, and our flight's now scheduled to take off at 5:45 p.m.," Mark Henley said. "It was going to be 4:05 p.m., so we'll see if there's any more delays after that."

Henley was traveling from Washington, N.C. to Denver to visit his daughter for Christmas.

"I was hopeful that we would get out today and still am, but we'll see," Henly said, adding the weather event in Colorado is "more extreme than normal."

Several airlines, including United, issued weather waivers so travelers, such as Erica Ledesma from Raleigh, can change her departure for free.

"We were originally supposed to fly out tomorrow morning, but due to the weather in New York, we ended up switching our flight to today," Ledesma said. "Very anxious, but I am hopeful that we'll get there, at least right now."

Flights to destinations such as Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Newark were delayed on Thursday evening, with two New York flights canceled.

But the impact is not as bad at RDU compared to others, according to RDU spokesperson Crystal Feldman.

"We are seeing a handful of delays and cancellations particularly in the Northeast Corridor, or in the upper Midwest," Feldman said. "But again, it's specific to the city and the airline. So, your best bet is to check with your airline before you come to the airport."

For Keith Rogers, they said they were just delighted their daughter made it to North Carolina from Boston on Thursday.

"Yesterday, we were really worried that the flight might get canceled," Rogers said. "But fortunately, delayed a little bit, 30 minutes today, but that's much better than the cancellation."

RDU expects nearly 600,000 total passengers to travel through the airport this holiday season that will end on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The busiest travel day is expected to be Friday, Dec. 23 with more than 38,000 travelers, according to RDU.