DENVER (CBS4) – Airlines have canceled 5,000 flights nationwide in advance of Hurricane Sandy. Most of the flights are along the East Coast, but the storm is still impacting travel in Colorado.
So far 60 flights that were scheduled to depart from Denver International Airport on Monday have been canceled. Those flights were headed to places like the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeastern Corridor.
People all over the nation are scrambling to rebook flights because of the storm. Many passengers have been showing up at the airports in person because call centers have been overwhelmed and the Internet sites haven’t been helpful enough.
“I got an email alert that my flight had been canceled. (I) tried to call and it was a 90-minute wait on the phone, so I just figured I might as well show up in person and try to get on whatever flight I could,” a traveler told CBS4.
Airlines are being flexible this week because of the storm by waiving rules and fees on specific dates so customers can change their tickets if they are flying in or out of airports affected by Hurricane Sandy. Some are even offering refunds.
United Airlines canceled flights to and from 26 airports in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and will have limited service on Monday and Tuesday. United is most affected by the hurricane because it has hubs near New York City and Washington, D.C.
One passenger was told it wouldn’t be until Thursday until she could fly into New York, so she booked another plan.
“At the moment I’m flying to Akron, Ohio, getting in a car and driving to New York to get home to my 6-year-old son,” she said.
Other passengers who need to get back to the East Coast now may find themselves taking similar routes. Those who can afford to take a few extra days will stay in Colorado.
“My parents live here, so we’re going back to my parents’ house,” a woman said.
“I used to live in Boulder, so it’s not that disappointing,” a man said.
DIA officials said the airport is prepared to park planes if necessary because of the weather.