Canceled flights stranding some people until Thursday or Friday

Posted at: 01/05/2014 11:44 PM
Updated at: 01/05/2014 11:50 PM
By: Steve Flamisch

COLONIE – The winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Midwest swamped airline ticket counters Sunday at Albany International Airport.

Many flights to and from cities like Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit were canceled or delayed, stranding some people in the Capital Region until late this week.

"I was talking to the (ticket agent), and there's nothing flying out of here for me until Friday," said Nick Verburg, who was scheduled to fly to Chicago’s Midway Airport en route to California.

Bethany and Dan Barton were scheduled to fly to Chicago on their way home to Oregon. Their flight last week was delayed by weather so they rebooked for Sunday -- only to be delayed again.

"We didn't want to get stuck in Chicago when we can sleep here at our family's home," Bethany Barton said. "So we're now going out on Thursday."

Close to 2,000 flights to and from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport were canceled, the Associated Press reported.

The airlines were issuing refunds and re-booking flights, but they were slammed with requests. United posted a message to its website warning of high call volume.

In some cases, travelers were planning to drive from the Capital Region to other cities to get a flight out.

"They found this flight flying out of Bradley, Connecticut down by Hartford," said Stephen Busath, who was flying to Utah via Chicago. "We're going to drive down there and I'll fly out from there."

And Nick Verburg, who was told he could not get a flight until Friday, said he, too, is pondering backup plans.

"I'm going to have to work from (my family’s) home for the week, or get a ride down to New York City and try to get another flight out of Laguardia," Verburg said.