SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - Travel woes are still being reported across the country, with thousands of flights delayed or canceled. Philadelphia International Airport is reporting a better day Tuesday, but travelers passing through the airport fared better last week.
Sam Castonguay grew up along 11th and Wolf in Philadelphia, but as a student in Spokane, Washington, she faced a fight to get home.
"I don’t even know if I’m going to get back to where I actually live in Pullman, Washington, because they’ve had 10 days of snow," Castonguay explained.
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Heavy snow in the west and a tangle of COVID-related flight delays slowed 66 flights as of early afternoon at the airport Tuesday, and 31 canceled outright. Not good news, but better than Monday.
"Definitely not what we had last week, but better than what we had over the weekend and yesterday, especially with the weather here yesterday," PHI spokesperson Heather Redfern commented.
Over 100 flights were dumped Monday, with 251 delayed, due to a combination of weather and virus. What’s clear is a pandemic and air travel are not good partners.
Philly International, city-owned and an important driver of the region’s economic health, took a hit in 2020, but projected nearly 1 million passengers during the holiday season.
"So, you are seeing folks getting on planes and traveling, no question, from those numbers?" asked FOX 29’s Jeff Cole.
"We were busy - still down about 30 percent from 2019, our record year," Redfern replied.
And, omicron hasn’t helped.
The Reboins are headed west.
"Our original canceled flight was from COVID. Didn’t have enough people working. The delay today? Don’t know, didn’t say," Gary Reboin remarked.
Airport officials are hoping the flight delays clear and air travel rebounds in the new year, while Sam Castonguay faces a long haul home.
"You seem remarkably up about this," Cole observed.
"It’s all I got. Ask me in another 12 hours…see how I’m doing," Castonguay answered.