Storms strand passengers at Houston airports

Storms across Texas have stranded passengers and their luggage inside Terminal A at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, where they have been sleeping on cots

March 20, 2012 8:37:03 PM PDT
This line of storms didn't only slow down commuters, it also grounded hundreds of flyers passing through Houston. The situation has slowly been improving throughout the day.

At one point Tuesday morning, there was a full ground stop in effect at Bush Intercontinental Airport, meaning planes couldn't land or take off. For many passengers, that was like adding insult to injury.

Stranded passenger Tammy Bridgewater said, "We were, like, almost to Dallas and they were like, hey we have to turn around."

Bridgewater never imagined the flight home to Shreveport from Cancun would involve sleeping on a cot at Bush Airport after being stranded there for nearly 16 hours.

She said, "They ran out of blankets. They ran out of pillows. Of course the people that had kids and the elderly, they got hotel rooms. We tried to book hotels; they were sold out."

Bridgewater was one of about 300 travelers forced to spend the night on cots in baggage claim at Terminal A. On Monday, scores of flights headed to DFW were diverted to Houston because of severe weather in north Texas.

"They were just cancelling three, four, five flights at a time," said stranded passenger Josh Richardson. "Then it was just a mad rush to try and get a car or a hotel."

The combination of bad weather to our north and the storms in Houston made a bad situation even worse, and led to huge delays and more cancellations at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Houston Airport System spokesperson Jesus Saenz said, "The airlines have to re-book a lot of people and we've been working and coordinating closely with all the airlines saying hey, how can we assist these customers, get them through the lines quickly."

Bridgewater wasn't expecting to leave until Wednesday, but by noon Tuesday she was able to book a flight home and says she has learned a very important lesson.

"I don't want to travel between March and April, rainy weather, bad weather," she said.

As many as 60 flights were delayed Tuesday morning because of the storms. If you're flying out, the best advice is to call the airlines or go online and check your flight status.

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