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Salt Lake City Int'l Airport ready for hectic, busy travel day

Posted at 6:25 AM, Dec 23, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY — With one of the busiest travel days of the year coinciding with a once-in-a-generation storm, Salt Lake City International Airport is ready for whatever is thrown at it Friday.

The airport was already busy Friday morning as passengers rushed to get out of town and to their destinations before flights could be canceled due to the massive storm affecting most of the country. By 4 p.m., 48 flights had been canceled coming in or heading out of Salt Lake City, while 213 flights had been delayed.

Travelers heading to cities in the Pacific Northwest, like Seattle and Portland, told FOX 13 News that they're upset because they've been rerouted to other destinations and will now have to drive to those cities.

Over the past few days, Riley and Sierra Porter have been trying to get to Eugene, Oregon to celebrate their son's first Christmas, but flight cancellations have halted their departure.

"It got cancelled last night at 8 p.m. and then again [Friday] around midnight," said a frustrated Riley.

The Porters are now flying into Sacramento with hopes they can still make it to Eugene before Christmas Eve.

"This is the closest thing we could find we still have an 8-hour drive," added Riley.

Because of potential weather cancellations and delays, as well as high travel volumes, airlines prepare for this time of year.

"We we know that you put a lot of trust in us when you travel with us and we take that very seriously," said Delta flight attendant Karen Williams. "You know, we want you to get to your destination safely and on time."

Airlines say passengers can help airlines get them to their destination faster by arriving early and packing thoughtfully.

"You want to keep the items out of your carry-on bags that you'll need during the flight, like your medications and your cell phone" Williams shared. "Make sure you dump those water bottles before you get up to security and pack your patience as well."

But as holiday travel continues, the Porters say to expect the unexpected.

"Good luck and check your flight!"

Holiday travel is expected to be heavier than it has in recent years when the pandemic forced people to stay at home. The lines at security checkpoints at Salt Lake City International Airport on Friday morning were proof that people were ready to head out once again.

Despite long lines and packed concourses, officials are making sure the holiday cheer will be felt throughout the airport Friday with live music and an appearance from Santa Claus before he departs on his own flight this weekend.