Hundreds of flights canceled at DIA due to snow, passengers wait hours in lines to rebook flights

Posted at 8:00 AM, Dec 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-17 21:13:36-05

DENVER -- A total of 300 flights have been canceled at Denver International Airport as a winter storm moved through the metro area early Saturday morning.

"The forecast called for one to three inches. We ended up getting more like six to eight inches, depending on where you are at the airport," said Heath Montgomery, a DIA spokesperson.

The airport deployed 300 pieces of equipment to deal with this storm. 

"We have all our snow crews out this morning clearing surfaces on the both the airfield and landside roadways," Montgomery said. 

The airfield and runways were clear and open to airlines according to Montgomery.

A passenger who spoke with Denver7's Amanda del Castillo said he didn't know about delays or cancelations until he arrived at DIA.

Bill Davidson, another passenger, said he checked-in a bag and was at the departure gate when he learned his flight was canceled, "I don't know where my bag is and I don't have a flight."

He was in a two-to-three hour-long line while also on the phone with United Airlines, trying to get a representative to assist him with re-booking, "I've been on hold for an hour and a half."

The hundreds of flights canceled represent about 20 percent of the flights scheduled daily at DIA, according to Montgomery.

The canceled flights "include some smaller commuter flights to mountain towns and cities around Colorado that just cannot fly in these conditions," said Montgomery.

Hilda Hinton, a Thornton resident, said she was on her plane Friday night when a slight delay caused the aircraft to remain grounded. Unfortunately, snow started to fall and forced the cancelation of her flight altogether. 

"We sat there for two hours on the plane, and it [snow] was getting deeper and deeper," said Hinton. "I'm not spending another night here."

Pena Boulevard was covered by hard,compacted snow. Montgomery cautioned drivers to slow down and give themselves extra time to get to the airport. 

Airport officials advise that you check your airline for a flight status and prepare for delays throughout the day.  


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