Monday, November 19, 2007

Fog delays holiday travelers


Fog forced holiday travelers to delay their plans after blanketing the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport yesterday morning, causing four flights to be cancelled and stalling others.
Three SkyWest Airlines flights and one US Airways Express flight failed to leave the ground due to dense fog that caused low visibility throughout Southern California, Airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln said.

“The fog lifted and things started flowing a little later in the morning, around 9,” Lincoln said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a hazardous weather outlook for patches of dense fog with visibilities of a quarter-mile or less for coastal regions yesterday morning.
In addition to cancellations, air travelers also experienced flight delays, Lincoln said, but did not have specific figures on how many passengers were delayed. Cancellations and delays resulted largely from the rerouting of flights on Sunday evening as fog started to roll in, preventing planes from landing in Santa Barbara.
“A lot of the time they can get out,” Lincoln said. “The problem is, the night before we had flights that weren’t able to come in.”
Airport officials rerouted most of those flights to Los Angeles International Airport, he said, resulting in fewer planes available for morning flights.
Bob Hope Airport, in Burbank, Calif., also experienced severe delays yesterday, according to a Reuters news report. Poor visibility prevented 12 planes from landing Sunday night, Reuters reported, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded the following morning.
Burbank airport spokesman Victor Gill told Reuters he couldn’t see the runway despite it being 400 feet from his office window. Despite fog lifting around 9 a.m., officials expected flights to be delayed throughout yesterday. Weather forecasts are not calling for any fog for the remainder of the week, but Lincoln advised arriving for flights earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I usually would recommend arriving at least an hour and a half earlier just to find a parking spot and get through the security line, because the flights are all full,” he said.
Airport officials also reminded holiday travelers to pack according to Transportation Security Administration guidelines and bring a photo ID. Carry-on baggage is limited to one standard carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase.
Officials also recommended carrying all valuables, cash, medication, jewelry, identification and business papers in carry-on luggage, as well as labeling all baggage with a clearly printed tag.
“It’s also important that people understand what they are allowed to bring on and what they aren’t allowed to bring on the plane,” Lincoln said.
Passengers can find TSA rules, including those governing liquid or gel containers, and a list of prohibited items at

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