Hundreds Of Houston Flights Delays Create Domino Effect Across The Country

Although the ice storm turned out to be less severe than predicted — there were still hundreds of flights delayed at both of Houston's major airports. That has a domino effect on the entire country.

Between Bush Intercontinental and Hobby Airports, 720 flights were canceled in and out of Houston.

Daniel Baker runs a Houston-based website called FlightAware that monitors airport activity. He says many of the flights coming into Houston were canceled as a precaution.

"When you have a weather storm that lasts maybe 18, 24, 36 hours, it can take a few days for airlines to get everything back together. Not only do they need to get their airplanes where they need them to be, but also the crews can be in the wrong city and it makes it very difficult for the airlines to resume operations. Even more so when you have it hitting a large hub, Houston Bush Intercontinental is the largest hub for United Airlines, and as a result that can take quite a while."

The biggest problem for airlines may be rescheduling passengers who are stranded here in Houston because their connecting flights were canceled.

Darian Ward is the Public Information Officer for the Houston Airport System. She says both airports are back on normal operations now.

"Last time we had only 150 canceled flights, this time we had around 720 canceled flights. So it is more of an impact on the passengers. But as far as the weather is concerned, we really didn't see what we were expecting."

Ward says many of the stranded passengers were on international flights from South America.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...