KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly all arriving and departing flights at Kansas City International airport were canceled or delayed late Friday afternoon.
More cancellations and delays stacked up Saturday as well.
The Kansas City area was experiencing mixed precipitation throughout the area, including rain that was expected to transition into freezing rain and then to sleet as the evening progressed.
KCI spokesman Joe McBride said many airlines decided not to allow flights to take off Friday afternoon due to the heavy freezing rain, as deicer just washed off the planes.
Shortly after 5:15 p.m., the FAA and KCI announced that deicing operations had resumed, setting the stage for departures to resume, but many flights were simply canceled for Friday and even Saturday.
This confirms that the freezing rain has dissipated & the airlines are deicing their aircraft for departure. Aviation Department Field maintenance crews are now applying deicing granules and sand. Arrivals have been nearly normal. https://t.co/rASG2bU2Ho— Kansas City International Airport (@KCIAirport) January 10, 2020
For many travelers, the delays and cancellations caused stress and frustration.
“Southwest originally told us that Saturday and Sunday were bad days to fly, so that’s why we decided to go today,” Katherine Hood, whose flight out to Los Angeles for a cruise was canceled, said. “We were pretty surprised, because we thought we were going to get out of here before the ice and the snow and the rain came.”
Some chose to wait it out at the airport, hoping for a break in weather and a chance to fly away.
Saryn and Evan Graham, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary, planned to sleep at the airport and spend more than 20 hours at KCI awaiting a new scheduled departure Saturday evening.
“We’ll spend some quality time together hanging out,” Evan said. “We've got some books and we've got a laptop to watch some movies.”
While the winter weather forced many travelers to change their plans, a Southwest flight to Milwaukee made it out on time on Friday night.
After staring at the board showing around a dozen cancellations, passenger Jaladhi Pandya said she was looking forward to getting out.
“I’m really shocked,” she said. “I’m excited that I’m the only one that’s going to go.”
Be sure to check the KCI website for flight information if you have travel plans this weekend.