Reporting Stephanie Lucero
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - The storms may be gone, but problems still remain for air travelers on Wednesday. Several hundred flights have been canceled or delayed at DFW International Airport a day after tornadoes whipped through North Texas.
American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said that 424 flights were canceled Wednesday both in and out of the airport, including flights by regional carrier American Eagle. Roughly 200 of those canceled flights are departures. About 800 flights were canceled on Tuesday evening due to storms that damaged over 100 planes with hail. Those damaged planes now face FAA inspections and repairs before they can fly again.
With so many planes unable to fly, passenger delays could reach into Thursday. As is always the case in times of severe weather, those flying out of North Texas are advised to check on their flight’s status before leaving the house.
Airport spokesman David Magana said that 1,400 stranded travelers spent Tuesday night in the terminals, many of them sleeping on cots, chairs or the hard floor. The airport supplied blankets, pillows and toiletries to as many travelers as possible, and the American Red Cross assisted with some additional supplies. Airport stores and restaurants even remained open past regular business hours to help accomodate the stranded travelers. Still, passengers who were stuck at the airport found that basic necessities were hard to find, making the unexpected overnight stay difficult.
Aubrey Quintero needed diapers for son. “I ran out in the middle of the night. I’ve got a 1-year-old who’s teething and I have the one left on him,” she said. American Airlines employees tried to help. “They gave me a large adult-sized diaper, because that’s what they had.” Quintero was hoping to get on a 9:00 a.m. flight to Colorado on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tori Amaral of Florida was traveling with her dog, Todd. She said that she understands why her flight was canceled, but she does not understand how airline employees could misplace her dog. “They lost my dog. Couldn’t find him for five hours,” Amaral said. “Then, come to find out, he was on an elevator where someone was supposed to ride with him, and it had broken down, and they forgot about him on there.” After Todd was located, Amaral spent the night sleeping with the dog in the American Airlines ticketing area of Terminal D.
Thousands of other travelers, Magana said, spent the night in nearby hotels.
Meanwhile, another 46 flights were canceled Tuesday by Southwest Airlines at Dallas Love Field. However, the airline has no planned cancellations for Wednesday.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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