Travelogue Update

Some bumpy rides and flight delays are the bogeymen on this Wednesday night for last minute holiday travelers. Tony has the latest from the FFA.

Holiday Travel Update

I start off with my favorite air traffic website. Use it for updated airport delays courtesy of our friends from the FFA.

http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp

Let’s start off with the statement that given this is the busiest travel day of the year, the weather across much of the US of A is quiet. Indeed they are the Friendly Skies if I can borrow a saying of United Airlines.

Check out this United U-Tube commercial from 1982 for a few laughs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeXrMRf25U8

That exuberant stewardess aside, many flights are on time and the weather is cooperating this Eve before the holiday.

The exceptions you ask! Well let’s start out in usually sunny south Florida where thunderstorms have West Palm and Miami Dade County airports running way behind. Flights are in a holding pattern there at least thru 6PM.

Since some folks fly US Airways from PBI and MIA to Charlotte before getting the connector into Huntington or Charleston, it figures to be a late night before some loved ones make it home.

Another source of air travel difficulties is the Northeast corridor from DC (Dulles, Reagan and BWI) to Philly, New York and Boston where a moist maritime flow of ocean air has produced thousands of square miles of low clouds and fog. The low ceilings are producing IFR (Instrument flight rules) conditions and hence delays.

Philly was leading the way with 2 hour delays common out of PHL all day long. Of course, Philly International is among the poorest in the USA for on time departures annually. Trust me I am from Philly and have waited often thru the years!

Figure at least an hour delay for all NE USA departures tonight when you factor in the large volume of traffic.

Among the pleasant surprises on the evening air charts, ORD (Chicago’s O’Hare) and DTW (Detroit International airport) are running on time for departing flights despite the low ceilings and rain showers. Of course these airports are among America’s best so I say kudos to the dedicated staffs at those quality airports.

Locally, Huntington Tri-State and Charleston Yeager airports are running on time as are feeder hubs Charlotte and Pittsburgh. Remember, on time in aviation lingo means 15 minutes or less delay!

As for Thanksgiving Day, the holiday is far less traveled but has light volumes and a better chance of on time arrivals. I know since I used to fly the holiday all the time when my parents were alive. A friend of mine Jim Reader (former WSAZ Charleston news anchor) taught me long ago to fly the holiday wearing a tie since people respond to you in a friendlier manner.

Turkey Day travel woes will include low ceilings out of Great Lakes airports like Chicago and Detroit where some de-icing from wet snow may delay flights. Otherwise the weather east of the Mississip (slang used for effect) looks AOK.

So here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to check back this weekend for my Sunday and Monday holiday weekend travel update.
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