Airlines prepare for millions of travelers
NEW YORK – Delta Air Lines says it ready for two million passengers over the next ten days as holiday travelers have already encountered weather problems.
Thick coastal fog shut down one of two runways for arriving planes at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, causing minor delays for passengers at the start of the busy Thanksgiving travel week.
Air traffic controllers were only letting pilots land on the south runway Monday night, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. Meanwhile, departing flights were also delayed by about 15 minutes because of poor visibility, he said.
“The controllers can’t see a lot of the air field, so they have to slow down traffic as a precaution,” Gregor said.
Delta CEO Richard Anderson told NBC’s “Today” show that his airline has been preparing for the Thanksgiving rush, and is ready for two million passengers over the course of the next ten days.
. . . Travelers are shown at Portland International Airport at the start of the Thanksgiving holiday week Monday, Nov. 19, 2007, in Portland, Ore.
But he says all the planning in the world won’t control the weather. All you can do, he says, is “advance plan” and “hope for good weather.”
Earlier Monday, fog was blamed for delays at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It prevented 12 planes from landing Sunday night for a Monday morning turnaround, leaving scores of passengers stranded, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.
“It was quite severe,” Gill said. “The runway is 400 feet from my office window, and I couldn’t see it.”
Several flights also were diverted from Santa Monica Airport on Monday and some were delayed at San Diego International Airport, said Gregor, noting that operations returned to normal later in the day.
A software problem disrupted radio communications at both Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport control towers early Monday, delaying flights by as much as an hour, but airport spokesman Ken Capps said the problem was repaired after about 30 minutes.