Snow, ice and rain across country cause airline travel problems

by: Nate Stewart Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was beginning to look a lot like holiday travel at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Monday. There were lines of cars to pick up loved ones and travelers were rushing to catch flights.

"Grandma is on time and we are going to go down and surprise her," said Michael Fitzegerald, from Charlotte. "This little guy is going to brighten up her day," he said as he held his son.

A little less cheerful, were the cancellations and delays some were faced with. In some cases bad weather was to blame. Snow, ice and rain were causing headaches across the country.

"The flight was supposed to leave at 9:20 (a.m.) and we ended up getting delayed almost two full hours," said Trey Gibson, who traveled to Charlotte from Washington, D.C., on Monday morning.

Gibson said that pouring rain and fog slowed him down. He was grateful that it wasn't worse.

"I saw people in (Washington, D.C.) stuck to five hours, sometimes flights canceled altogether," he said.

The delays were not just a problem for travelers, but for families as well.

"We are picking up my mom," said Marjorie Appiah. "We found out that her flight was delayed."

She says she drove an hour and a half from Spartanburg, S.C., to pick up her mom. But she and her son said the extra wait will be worth it once her mom is there.

That was the sentiment Channel 9 heard from most. Many were willing to deal with delays and lots of traffic to see family from far away.

"It's a traffic jam just to pick up people flying in, so the cell phone lot is a mess, but we're just glad she is here on time," said Fitzgerald.

A few people told Eyewitness News that they avoided that traffic by parking in the daily lot, paying and taking the shuttle to the terminal.

Just last week the airport rolled out a new free option. The Kiss and Fly lot is right next to the long-term 4 parking lot. People can drop their loved one at the shuttle or wait for the traveler to take the shuttle. Both ways avoid traffic and cost.

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