Challenging day for many people flying for Christmas

Dec 23, 2022, 5:01 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It has been a messy few days of air travel nationwide.

Salt Lake City International Airport has seen dozens of cancellations and nearly 200 delays Friday. But many people flying through the city are grateful they’re not stuck somewhere else.

The airport has not had as many cancellations as Thursday: 47 as of 3 p.m. But there are still plenty of delays — 188 — especially for anybody heading through the middle of the country or the Pacific Northwest.

“We weren’t canceled altogether, yet. Who’s to say?” said Chris Magby, who was standing in line Friday morning to check in with Southwest Airlines.

Magby is a student at BYU Idaho, flying to visit family for Christmas in Tulsa.

“We saw all of the weather predictions coming in. We were kind of nervous,” he said. “My dad was talking about canceling the trip altogether.”

But they decided to keep their plan.

On Thursday, the airline sent him a flight cancellation text. Fortunately, that did not ruin their trip.

“We were able to just go on the app and quickly find a new flight,” Magby said. “It’s less than ideal.”

His arrival is now delayed about 12 hours, unless there’s another problem, as he’s heading into very cold weather in Oklahoma.

“It’s like -2 degrees or whatever, low teens, which, being from Idaho isn’t a huge change for us,” he said. “But I know for all of my family down there, they are not excited about it.“

Flying through Denver, Dallas, Chicago, or Atlanta can be problematic. Other travelers had flights to Seattle and Portland canceled due to an ice storm and freezing rain. Some of those travel plans have now been delayed two days, so it’s not just the middle of the country getting bad weather.

(Jed Boal/KSL TV) (Jed Boal/KSL TV)

Melane Hall was trying to get home to Omaha Friday after spending time in Utah helping family with sick kids. She got to the airport early and discovered her flight from Denver to Omaha had been canceled.

“They said they could fly me out to Denver,” she said. “But I’d rather be at my son’s house than a hotel.”

So, she’ll stay with family here an extra day.

“I can fly out tomorrow around two and I should get home around 10 p.m.,” Hall said.

Most travelers were not having any trouble with their flights, or they were adjusting to delays two hours or less.

If you’re flying soon, check on your flight before you head to the airport. Check the app for your airline, or flightaware.com is also a great resource.

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Challenging day for many people flying for Christmas