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Hundreds of Flights Were Cancelled, But No Sleet Or Ice Appeared

Bill Zeeble
This section of D/FW International Airport's Terminal D may not look busy now. Just wait. The Sunday after Thanksgiving will be the airport's busiest day of the year.

The North Texas weekend rain never turned to ice and sleet as predicted. Still, 480 flights were canceled out of D/FW International Airport Sunday and Monday in anticipation of the winter storm. Now, it’s mostly back to normal. As the remaining stranded passengers get on their way, the airport’s also gearing up for the year’s busiest travel season.

Passenger Robert Brown was supposed to be in Austin Monday making business calls to clients. But a canceled flight kept him in a Dallas hotel overnight. He didn’t mind.

“It was OK for me because I had a chance to relax," he said. "But it’s not okay for my job. It’s bad but it’s good. I get to see Texas, so no complaints.”

Instead of flying, Brown will just rent a car and drive to the state capital. Backed-up flights won’t let him leave until much later Monday, so he’ll make some business stops on the drive south.  D/FW Airport’s David Magana says that with clearing weather and rising temperatures, the airport's schedule should be normal through Thanksgiving.

And that means busy.

“We are encouraging travelers to be early birds this year,” Magana said. "That’s always the call for Thanksgiving. If you’re here early you can travel in a relaxed state.”

Early for Magana means two to three hours before your flight leaves.

He also says check your carrier for delays. Freezing conditions across the Southeast, from Georgia to Maryland, could cancel or slow flights.

For those awaiting flights at D/FW, Magana says for the first time, airport vendors will ship purchases free to anywhere in the U.S.  Also, gifts bought at the airport in secured sections will be wrapped free in Terminal D. That might not seem like a big deal, but presents carried on the plane cannot be wrapped because of TSA rules.

Magana says D/FW’s busiest travel day of the year is typically the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The airport expects 175,000 people Dec. 1.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.