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Flight delays continue

Updated, 5:40 p.m.: Crews continue to remove snow at the area's airports, and there are massive delays as flight operations struggle to recover from Saturday's storm. Officials with all three major Washington airports advise you to check with your airline before you head to the airport.

(Updated, 1:25 p.m.): Reagan National Airport reopened at 12:30 p.m.

Original post: Reagan National Airport will not have any flights before noon, possibly later than that, an airport spokeswoman said.

Crews are simply having trouble finding places to move all the snow that fell, said Tara Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Metro Washington Airports Authority. She said though the runway is clear, the taxi ways are not, making plane maneuvering impossible.

Hamilton said officials are hoping to have the runway cleared by noon, but it was not immediately clear whether they could. She said snow was being moved to parking lots or anywhere available on airport property.

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 20, 2009; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  | Tags: Reagan National, airport, snowstorm  
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Next: D.C. Circulator service resumes


I have a flight today at 5 pm, what's the best way to get from Foggy Bottom to the National?

Posted by: mroussea | December 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

take a taxi or get a ride. DCA website says Metro at the airport is still closed and Metro website says all lines are delayed.

Posted by: ravenpoe | December 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Too bad they can't just push the snow into the Potomac.

Posted by: ward2up | December 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I have a flight at 6:20 pm today do you think the taxi ways would be cleared by then?

Posted by: wudidye | December 20, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

We left West Palm this morning at 8:30 on US Air on our way to National. We got about as far as Georgia before they turned the plane around because of the problems at National. Had to rebook for Monday. This sucks!

Posted by: mickeyconnie | December 20, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Lovely news... now how about reporting on Dulles?

Posted by: ktsmom9 | December 20, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Information seems very hard to find. I have a mid-morning flight out Monday. Airline lookup says on time right now (noon Sunday), but can't hardly imagine with over a day of cancelled flights that mine will leave on time, or even on Monday. Mostly curious right now, but anyone have any ideas on whether flights that 'could' leave on time will get pushed back for those passengers stranded already?

Posted by: iamcardfan | December 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The Dulles website seems to be down, I can't get any info on whether they're open or not. My hubby's flight out of Brussels was delayed, but is now in flight. I don't know if they'll be diverted to another airport. No way to find out other than the United website, which only tells me that it's in flight. Would love to know if Dulles is open or not!

Posted by: ktsmom9 | December 20, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I have a mid-morning flight tomorrow as well. Curious as to how I'll be affected. Anyone have any information?

Posted by: aeturpin | December 20, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Great job National, you dropped the ball. Nobody thought to push the snow off the runways or taxiways further into the medians than they normally do?

I mean, how do places like Philadelphia, or Boston, or Minneapolis, or and Canadian airports do it?

Plus, there's a huge river that runs right next to the airport snow could be pushed in to. Remember, snow is simply frozen water.

Posted by: dj1123 | December 20, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MikeLicht | December 20, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

In my flying experience (which is extensive, including multiple weather-related delays):

Your flights tomorrow should go as scheduled if they can get the runways and taxi ways cleared today. You won't get "bumped" for others whose flights got delayed. They may try to get more planes in the air, or those people will simply be stuck waiting, possibly until after Christmas. This happened to me last year, so I know all too well that the brunt of the wait time falls on those who's flights are cancelled during the weather event.

Posted by: lawschool10 | December 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

At DCA now. Very few flights are coming and going. Long lines at all airways. Regional prop planes are clear. All flights before 3 pm are either cancelled or rescheduled for later after 3pm. Looking at the boards. If immediate flight info is needed before 2 pm I will check it for you. Just post airline and flight number.

Posted by: Siren111 | December 20, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, lawschool10! That was helpful (and reassuring).

Posted by: aeturpin | December 20, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

An update on conditions at Dulles would be much appreciated. Also interested in suggestions on getting to Dulles. DC Yellow Cab isn't dispatching cabs, the metro isn't running to West Falls Church and even if I can get to West Falls Church, the flyer bus isn't operating.

I haven't tried other cab companies and am considering driving out myself.

Posted by: bhart1 | December 20, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, thanks for the info, Siren111. Can you check Continental Flight 5811, scheduled to leave for Cleveland at 5:10? Of course, I still have to find a cab to the airport, but I'm wondering what awaits if and when I do get there.

Posted by: uncastimmons | December 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

DCA website is down. Guess the snow is causing that too, eh? I re-booked my Sunday afternoon flight to Wednesday. I don't trust these jokers to get rid of the snow in two days.

Posted by: tristesse27 | December 20, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as someone who used to work at an airport (not in this area), you do not want them to push the snow into the river - lotsa de-icing type chemicals most likely mixed in there - not pure snow! I wish them the best of luck as I know these weather events are really challenging on the staff - and passengers, of course.

Posted by: jilld1 | December 20, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi Siren111. If you're still looking at flight status boards, what does it say for USAir 528 to Phoenix, scheduled for 5:05 pm?

Posted by: bellaparola | December 20, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I have a flight out of West Palm Beach (PBI) at 6:10 (US Airways #1224) to National.

I see that the flight to depart West Palm at 3:30 (US Airways #1920) has been CANCELLED.

Any insights on the likelihood that the 6:10 flight will be cancelled?

The 6:10 flight is still saying ontime.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Posted by: PBDC28 | December 20, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Was scheduled to fly out of National at 4 PM, but wasn't able to get a cab from Alexandria that would get me there on time. Thus, I had to reschedule, and the earliest flight to Minneapolis that I could get was on Thursday AM.

If you are thinking of taking a cab to get to the airport anytime today, start calling now. Also, if you can, consider rescheduling through the airline website. I anticipate long delays today.

Posted by: ndgirl | December 20, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I suspect my hubby will have to stay either at Dulles or in a nearby hotel (if they have any rooms left), 'cuz I seriously doubt he's gonna find a cabbie willing to drive him all the way home tonight (we live 45 min. west of DCA on a good day, & god only knows how long it would be today!) Sigh.

Posted by: ktsmom9 | December 20, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Since Nat'l Airport metro station is closed now, how are passengers arriving getting to Metro? I'm assuming cab lines will be extraordinarily long today. I have a family member arriving at about 7pm tonight (supposed to arrive yesterday) whose flight is still showing on time. Are there buses to get passengers to DC where they can access Metro? Couldn't figure that out from metro's website.

Posted by: PatriciaFlagg | December 20, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Seems like there are some flights that have already departed, albeit a few hours late. But that's still encouraging for anyone who has flights later tonight/tomorrow.

Posted by: nanselm2 | December 20, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I flew into Dulles this morning from Dubai (landed at 6:30 am). They had one runway operating for "international arrivals", but then I ran into a couple who had just flown in from SFO. Everything took much longer than usual, not surprisingly. There were cabs picking up passengers, people were doubling up and sharing if headed in the same direction.

Posted by: gemini4 | December 20, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Dulles International Airport (IAD):
Two of the airport's four runways are open. Snow-clearing crews are continuing to work on the airfield.The terminal facilities remain open. Washington Flyer Coach will not operate today between Dulles and West Falls Church Metrorail station. For alternate forms of Ground Transportation please check with the provider - click here for contact info. As of 1pm Saturday, Metrobus ceased bus operations between Dulles and Washington, D.C.

Posted by: br55 | December 20, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

For people who want flight information, go on Flight Tracker - type in Airport's 3 letter identifier - DCA or IAD or BWI - or the Flight Number and it will hopefully list all flights inbound or outbound, along with their status (approximate arrival times, etc.). The airport websites do not have this info.

Posted by: carolineC1 | December 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

American Airlines at Reagan National has the worst customer service in the hisotry of mankind. I was in line with my wife and kids for four hours with my boarding pass - JUST WAITING TO DROP OFF THEIR BAGS. No one from AA ever - EVER - came to the end of the lines to help people, to give information. No one ever came over the PA to offer advice. They say they did, but there no announcement, so they lied to my face as well. I went up to ask a question at the desk - a service person ignored me and anither woman with the same question. I yelled the question politely (no swearing or anger) to the person and I was threatened by a member of the Capitol Police to be ARRESTED for "enciting a riot"!!!!!! My wife and small children had to switch flights on the phone, bail on her checked bags, and take an even later flight. Sh just called to tell me the flight left without ever calling it over the PA. American Airlines has RUINED my family's holiday. Anyone at the Post want an interview, I would love to take one of your reporters - bring a camera - to AA and ask why it was this way, please call me.

Posted by: fizics95 | December 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe all those politician that went to the Global Warming conference can't get back home and park their jets. Think this will delay the vote on the healthcare plan if the buses and trains can't run? Does this mean that the polar ice cap extends down to Washington D.C.? Just asking?

Posted by: bcooper530 | December 20, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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