Travelers Returning from Arizona Greeted With Frigid Temperatures
Airport officials say thousands of flights across the country have been affected by the polar vortex
FARGO, N.D. — The frigid temperatures have been affecting flights across the country. People flying in from warmer places say the dramatic shift in temperature was a shock to them when they got off the plane.
“Almost 100 degree difference. Swinging from the 55 degree weather we left in Arizona to a –54, not really happy to be back, excited to be home but not necessarily to this weather,” Jessica Dyrendahl, who traveled in Arizona with her family, said.
“It was like really cold and it was like a big wind of cold air coming in, I choked on my breath,” Trinity Eliason, 10, said.
“You could totally feel it and everything was frozen the whole walkway down was frozen,” Mackenzie Schram, another passenger, said.
Airport officials say 2,000–3,000 flights across the country have been affected by the polar vortex through either delays or cancelations.
“It’s going to be a challenging day. We’re not only dealing with the weather here but it’s through the Upper Midwest,” Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of Hector International Airport, said.
The airport authority says the temperature outside has to be at least –27 degrees for planes to be deiced. Employees also aren’t able to work on the ramp for long periods of time.
“Some of the flights that were supposed to leave earlier this morning have been delayed portionately based on what the meteorology department at each of those airlines are looking at in terms of air temperatures,” Dobberstien said.
At the end of the day, those coming back from the warm Southwest say the cold is part of home.
“We’re used to it. We’ve been around here for a long time, it was tough to get [Jessica and Trinity] on the plane this morning because they knew, but I’m ready for it I guess, we’re from Minnesota–North Dakota, we’re used to it,” Nick Dyrendahl said.
“I wanted to go back, I don’t know if you can reuse tickets,” Trinity said.
Airport officials say you should check with your airline to stay up to date on your flight status.