ARLINGTON, Va. — Air travelers faced a staggering number of flight cancellations and delays Friday at Reagan National Airport as the country grapples with the severe winter weather.
More than 500 arriving and departing flights at the airport were canceled or delayed the day before Christmas Eve, according to the tracker Flight Aware.
Warren Brown of Maryland said he was hit with multiple delays and cancellations on his way to Florida.
"I randomly got alerts hours later that the flight was being delayed. Hours later, it was postponed again. Just hours sitting around, and finally, the flight was canceled," Brown told WUSA9 as he sat at the airport trying to find another flight.
Brown said he was at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport when he was faced with the first issue. He decided to take an hour-long ride to Reagan to try to catch another flight on a different airline but was faced with the same luck.
Other travelers were on pins and needles as they made longer flights with multiple connections. Like Meli Alvarez, who was heading to New York City before making it to her final destination.
"I am crossing my fingers, and I am letting things flow. I am hoping for the best because we are spending Christmas in Peru and New Year's in Cusco," said Alvarez. She said she has been providing her family in South America updates throughout her journey.
With thousands of travelers struggling to make their holiday plans a reality, some passengers like David Brizze are counting their blessings.
"Fabulously smooth, I can hardly believe it. I think I have been good, Santa rewarded me this year."
Brizze said he is spending the holidays in Rome, and although he could face issues getting to Europe, he told WUSA9 he was optimistic that he would face no issues.
Airlines have issued winter weather waivers that allow passengers to rebook at no cost, but many are still unsure if they will be able to make it in time for those holiday celebrations they had planned.
"All airport officials are asking passengers to check if their flights are on time before making it out to the airport. This also goes for those picking up their loved ones. At DCA, RSC, WUSA9."
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