Charlotte Douglas recuperates after storm

Credit: George, NBC Charlotte viewer via

"A lot of gates are empty."


by Staff & Associated Press

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 15 at 12:44 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Several hundred people spent Friday trying to rebook flights that were cancelled out of Charlotte Douglas Airport this week.

After days of dealing with the North Carolina snow, the third and final runway reopened around 3 p.m.

Crews continue to clear the airfield of snow, but they were able to stop deicing planes around noon. They worked on 31 planes Friday morning.

About 140 departing flights were cancelled, but aircrafts are coming and going. Customers can still expect delays, including while going through security.

On Thursday, more than 70 percent of flights were canceled in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Charlotte thanks to a winter storm that paralyzed most air traffic along the East Coast.

Ice storms this winter have caused major headaches in typically warm cities like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.

"This year is off to a brutal start for airlines and travelers," says FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker. "Not only is each storm causing tens of thousands of cancellations, but there's been a lot of them."

And February still has two weeks left.

Making things worse, airlines have been cutting unprofitable flights and packing more passengers into planes.

That's been great for their bottom line but has created a nightmare for passengers whose flights are cancelled due to a storm. Other planes are too full to easily accommodate the stranded travelers.

Many must wait days to secure a seat on another flight.

U.S. Airways was the only airline to formally cancel all arrivals and departures Thursday. Customers are urged to call the airline to rebook flights.

About 1,000 people spent the night in the terminal overnight Thursday.

The Red Cross provided cots and emergency supplies, and concession stands and the TSA remained open to assist fliers.