Hundreds of flights out of Dallas’ airports were canceled and delayed Wednesday morning after the FAA grounded planes because of a systemwide outage to a critical notification system.
Travelers at Dallas Love Field and DFW International Airport, still wary from the recent winter storm cancellations and Southwest Airlines meltdown, played the waiting game to see how they would be impacted.
At Love Field, Nicole Vowel joined a small group of passengers staring slack-jawed at the board showing departures and arrivals.
She and her sister, both originally from Oklahoma City, drove to Dallas on Tuesday night so they could catch a Southwest flight to San Diego.
They were going to California to celebrate their grandmother’s 93rd birthday on Saturday.
”We were supposed to leave at 7:40,” Vowel said as she peered through the list of delays. “Then it was 2:40, then 11:15, then 11:30. And now, I don’t even see our flight.”
The sisters were bracing for the possibility they might have to make the drive to San Diego so they could get there in time for the birthday celebration.
Those fears were diminished as they stood staring at the board, when Southwest texted them about their new departure time at noon.
The board showed most flights scheduled before 7:30 had been delayed until 8:30.
Several flight times were pushed back repeatedly — 8:32, 8:35, 8:50 and 8:55. Only a handful of flights — about seven as of 8:40 a.m. — were canceled altogether.
Vowel wasn’t the only passenger who made the long drive to Dallas ahead of Wednesday’s meltdown.
Twanna Wiloth woke up at 3 a.m. so she could make the drive to Love Field from Eastland, about 130 miles from Dallas.
Her 6:50 flight to Atlanta was also delayed repeatedly.
”I was hoping all of that was over,” Wiloth said, referencing the Southwest Airlines meltdown that stranded thousands of people across the country during the height of the holiday travel season.