Warning for flyers, be prepared to wait - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Warning for flyers, be prepared to wait

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December 21, 2007

Albany - - It's one of the busiest travel days of the year as millions of Americans head home for Christmas. Nationwide, airports dealt with major delays Friday caused by weather and mechanical problems.

They sit and wait hours after they were supposed to be long gone.

"I think its crazy. Its intense, very stressful," says Cherri Bass who has perhaps gotten the worst hit from holiday airport delays.

She came to Albany earlier this week.

"You were supposed to fly out? Yesterday. What happened? The flight was late so I missed all my connecting flights. So I decided to stay the night and fly out today but the flights are still delayed," Bass told us.

Southwest Regional Airport Director Yvette Ahele explains, "We had maintenance up line which basically means before it ever got to Atlanta, the aircraft had maintenance issues."

Mechanical problems and weather delays are hitting airports all over the country. Especially at Hartsfield International in Atlanta where long lines and upset flyers didn't expect the wait.

Of delays are enough to make anyone upset, but you may end up more frustrated if you get to the airport and have to wait longer because you didn't pack correctly. Remember when you're flying, your carry on bag can't contain liquid, sprays, or gels that are larger than three ounces. They have to be stored in a one quart plastic bag. Oh yeah, and when airport officials say arrive two hours early, they mean it.

"A lot of people that don't travel the rest of the year are not traveling during Christmas and they're not used to packing," Ahele says.

Which could mean you have to wait even longer. It's the price you may have to pay as you standby with others who all have the same thing in mind.

"I just want to get home," Bass says.

Hopefully she will, in time for Christmas. This has been a good year for the Albany airport with 40,000 people traveling through. That's up about 10 percent. Traffic is expected to die down over the weekend and then pick back up the day after Christmas.

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