Northern Midwest weather could affect OIA travelers



ORLANDO, Fla. - The same storm system that is going to make temperatures drop in central Florida is dumping snow across the Midwest. That could cause some major delays for holiday travelers heading into and out of Orlando.

Orlando International Airport officials are trying to get out ahead of any potential storm delays going into a 10-day period that they say will see 1.8 million travelers moving through the airport.

The two upcoming Saturdays will be the heaviest travel days, and officials said they advise travelers to get to the airport early and to be prepared when they walk through security lines.

Quanita Pippy and Vicki Brende said they tried to do everything good travelers should.

"I always get here early, always rather be early than late," said Pippy.

The two said they do not expect anything to impact their holiday plans.

"No, I think everything will go smoothly," said Brende.

But the airport's executive director said there is no way to know what effects snow up north will have on the arrival and departure boards at OIA.

"Always a problem when you deal with network carriers. Their flights originate in other locations and if they get delayed that will have some impact because it's sort of like the trickle-down theory.  Ultimately if they're coming here it's going to be delaying some flights," said Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Transportation and Safety Administration officials said passengers can control their own destiny to some extent by following some standard guidelines. They said fliers should have their tickets and IDs ready. Passengers should be prepared with 3-ounce liquids in see-through zip lock style bags and have electronics out and ready to inspect and have shoes and belts off, officials said.

"We are well staffed. We have lots of extra people to help get them through, but they really need to show up early and then be prepared when they get to checkpoint," said Jerry Henderson of the TSA.

Officials also advise travelers to check the status of their flights before you heading to the airport. Weather around the country could create problems for those flying out of Orlando.

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