Winter weather impacts Austin Airport

Airport officials offer tips on how to deal with delays and cancellations in severe winter weather.

Austin, Texas –

Winter weather is affecting flights across the country, including those attempting to board and disembark Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (OUT).

While Austin weather doesn’t have sleet or snow, that’s not the case for all travel destinations. Although flight cancellations and delays may seem like an airport responsibility, it falls into the hands of the airlines.

The responsibility of AUS and other airports across the country is to maintain the facility, terminals, runways and roads. When it comes to flight schedules, including weather-related delays and cancellations, and communicating with the passenger, that responsibility rests with the individual airline.

AUS officials say it’s very important to communicate directly with your airline. It is important for passengers to stay up to date on the status of their flight, to check each leg of their flight if it is not a direct flight and to check the associated gates.

“This winter storm is affecting the entire United States and conditions at most airports for the first time in a long time. Most of the time, rain doesn’t stop them. You know, a light breeze and a little frozen precipitation don’t stop them,” Austin Airport spokeswoman Elizabeth Ferrer said. “But this storm is proving to be huge and has feet of snow everywhere and inches of ice everywhere and the hardest hit parts.”

If you’re stuck at the airport due to a cancellation or delay, some airlines will work with you to provide either meals or a hotel, but again that depends on your airline.

“If you are stuck at the airport, you have to go to your ticket counter. Knowing this, usually when the ticket counter is crowded because there’s 100 people stuck at the airport, they go and ask you to call the airline and make arrangements there,” Ferrer said. “Different airlines will be generous when it comes to that going to make hotel rooms available, not all. And it depends on how prevalent these delays and cancellations are in the US.”

Airports will also work with you to get your luggage back if it’s checked in for the flight, but be sure to keep all essentials such as medication, your wallet and keys with you and not in your checked baggage.

With freezing temperatures and severe weather forecast for a few days, it’s also important to check your return flights. Any cancellations or delays could create a ripple effect that would affect your journey home.

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Laura Coffey

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