Winter weather causes flight delays, cancellations at OIA



ORLANDO, Fla. - A winter storm that's being blamed for at least 16 deaths in the Northeast is also causing flight delays and cancellations at Orlando International Airport on Saturday.

As of midday Saturday there were several delays and nearly 20 flight cancellations at Orlando International Airport. Most of the flights were coming from or going to the northeastern United States, where heavy snow has covered the region.

Forecasters say an unusual combination of weather conditions is pushing freezing air down from the North Pole and funneling it as far south as the Gulf Coast. The cold temperatures that are coming to much of the nation are rare and happen maybe once a decade or more, according to the National Weather Service.

OIA officials said Saturday is considered the busiest travel day of the holiday season, with nearly 124,000 people expected to pass through the airport. Brandi Dixon and Tyler Dixon were trying to return home from their honeymoon when they got stuck at OIA because of flight delays.

"I am definitely ready to get home. It is a little frustrating, but there is really nothing they can do," Brandi Dixon said.

Dozens of people could be seen sleeping and trying to pass the time inside the airport's terminal Saturday morning.

"I decided that I did not want to sleep in a dress in an airport, so I went and bought pajamas from the Disney store here in the airport," Brandi Dixon said.

Airport officials said the number of delays and cancellations is continuously changing and travelers are encouraged to check their flight status before heading to the airport.