SRQ - While the Suncoast is not feeling the effects of the blizzard in the southern U.S., holiday travelers trying to get home certainly are.
Around 750 flights have been cancelled nationwide as a result of the storm, and that has been leading to delays here on the Suncoast.
Major Midwestern hubs like Chicago-O'Hare and Indianapolis, as well as spots like Atlanta and New York City are dealing with excessive amounts of delays.
That is having a trickledown effect here on the Suncoast. Dozens of flights were delayed and several cancelled in Tampa. We did not see any cancellations in Sarasota, but we did have a couple of delays.
Travelers we spoke with said they know they'll get home at some point, although if they're making a connection in any affected city, just when they're flight will get home is up in the air.
Blizzard conditions in the Midwest sent air travel into a tailspin, with flight delays and cancellations happening all across the country. “I'm going to get back around dinner time if I'm lucky," says Mary Jo Lepo.
United's daily non-stop service between SRQ and Chicago was delayed by a few hours, leaving some people to wonder whether it would get any worse. "You know what I just get on my laptop or read a magazine, because you can't change the situation so you make the best of the situation," says Deborah Booden.
Matthew Lee was just starting his thirty-hour trip back to New Zealand, and says he planned ahead just in case something like this happened. "I expect that there would be some kind of winter storm, so I booked my flight from Chicago a whole day later, so I have 24 hours leeway just in case I get stuck somewhere."
Others say at this time of year, being delayed by bad weather is just a fact of life. "I think you just have to roll with it, it’s just kind of expected around this time of year, so it wasn't a surprise to me and I kind of knew last week that the weather was going to turn bad the day I was leaving," says Mary Jo Lepo.
As this storm continues to move off towards the east, officials here at the airport said we could continue to see delays into tomorrow, not sure yet but definitely keeping an eye on the situation.
Keep in mind, if you are going to be traveling later today or tomorrow the onus is on you to contact your airlines to see if you are dealing with any delays or cancellations. It is always best to do that before you get to the airport.