New Year's Snow Grounds Flights Through Atlanta - - The News for South Mississippi

New Year's Snow Grounds Flights Through Atlanta

Staci Rogers stood at the Air Tran ticket counter, unsure when she could board her flight. "So you think I'll get to Chicago today?" she asked an Air Tran agent. "Like once I get to Atlanta, will I be able to get to Chicago?"

Ticket agents couldn't answer Staci Rogers' question, because airline computers weren't saying when she'd get to Atlanta.

"I'm so frustrated," Rogers said. She arrived at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport at 5:00 a.m. Six hours later, she was still on the ground. "Trying to get to Chicago, and the snow in Atlanta is just horrible. It's holding everybody up."

Cancelled flights out of snowy Atlanta made it impossible for ticket agents to say when passengers would fly out of Gulfport. So Lisa Ludlow asked Delta ASA to change her mom's flight back to Massachusetts. "We decided to rebook and have her go out Saturday," said Ludlow. "So we have a little bit of a benefit of a couple more days to spend time together."

While they waited for word about their flights, some passengers slept. Others read newspapers. Sue Borden had a bite to eat in the airport lounge. "I don't mind it at all," Borden said, while she waited for her flight to Tampa. "What are you going to do about it? It doesn't bother me."

While Russell Heinle sat in the terminal, his wife was taking a nap on his shoulder. "They told us at the hotel we should be out here at 10:30," Heinle said, "and it's 11:00 and the flight still hasn't left Atlanta."

At 11:10, all the people we saw sitting in the lounge, waiting for the flight to Tampa got bad news. The Atlanta snowstorm grounded their plane. So Air Tran cancelled the Gulfport flight to Tampa. It made a long day even longer for these weary passengers.

Passengers like Dee Searfoss took it in stride, "Because I can call a limo and go back and gamble more."

That's what most of the passengers did. They stood in line, got rebooked on a Friday flight, and headed back to a coast hotel.

Javier Magria was getting tired of the delays. "We want to go home," he said. "We've been here 2-3 days. We want to go home. We want to go home where it's warm."

by Brad Kessie

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