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Winter weather impacts flights in Texas

Few cancellations so farm but a travel advisory from Southwest lists San Antonio as a city that may see service disruptions.

SAN ANTONIO — Dallas saw hundreds of delays and cancellations Monday between it’s two airports, but in San Antonio there were only a handful, unlike last year's Christmas chaos.

However, more flights are expected to be canceled on Tuesday due to the Winter Storm Warning in effect until Thursday. You can see here if a flight is canceled or on time. As of Tuesday morning, it appears there are not too many cancellations.

Video shows de-icing of a plane set to leave the San Antonio International Airport. This is causing delays for many, with this particular flight reportedly being delayed for two hours.

"This year was kind of just a perfect storm,” said Katy Nastro a travel expert with Going.com. “No pun intended, but it really was of a really inopportune time of the year for horrible, horrible winter weather to occur."

Nastro said weather wasn't the only factor in that crisis. The number of flights and people traveling played a major role, and that’s not really an issue in January.

"The likelihood of something well like that happening, again, probably not high," said Nastro. “But it is something to consider when you're traveling in a winter weather month."

The elephant in the airport is Southwest Airlines. Like during Christmas, they had the most cancelations. But most of those were in the morning. According to data on flightaware.com, Southwest had 441 cancellations for the whole country at 3:30 pm. By 9:30 pm, the number had gone up a few dozen to 489, a far cry from the 2,900 cancellations reported from the airline just after Christmas.

“I think they learned a big lesson,” Nastro said. “Being proactive with ‘Do we think we can handle this?’ Or ‘No, we can't we better do our due diligence and cancel flights in advance.’”

In a Statement, Southwest Airlines provided some detail about their approach to the winter storm:

Based on current and forecasted weather conditions, our Teams have made schedule adjustments to support our operation at airports affected by Winter Storm Mara. Above all, our main focus is on the Safety of our Employees and Customers. 

Customers scheduled to travel during the early part of the week are encouraged to visit Southwest.com or the Southwest Mobile App to check their flight status and review the latest Travel Advisory which includes information about flexible accommodation policies currently available.

In their Travel Advisory, Southwest released lists San Antonio as a city that may see service disruptions through February 1.

The San Antonio International Airport declined to be interviewed, instead referring to a social media post urging people “to use caution when traveling to and from the airport.”

Nastro said that in planning or rescheduling flights, there are a few ways to reduce the likelihood your travel will be impacted by the weather: such as choosing non-stop flights so there is less risk of a delayed connecting flight impacting the rest of the trip. She also said the earliest flights in the morning are less likely to be delayed or cancelled.

“The airplane is already parked at the airport; it's not coming from somewhere else,” Nastro said. “So, the likelihood of it getting affected because of say, weather, is lower.”
If you are rescheduling a flight over the phone, Nastro said you may have less of a wait if you call the airline’s international customer service line.

“Everybody is probably going to be flooding the domestic lines due to the weather that's occurring in your area,” she said. “But a lot of these airlines, especially the full service have international customer service agents across the globe.”

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