Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seattle Weather Creating Flying Nightmare At SeaTac

A blast of winter in the nation's northern tier stranded travelers far and wide Sunday just a few days before Christmas, with dozens of flights delayed or canceled and bus passengers sleeping on cardboard at a Seattle terminal.

"I've got phone books as a pillow," said Greyhound passenger Phillip Barton, having given up hope of reaching his home in Ketchikan, Alaska, by Christmas.

A weekend storm dumped about 5 inches of snow around Seattle by Sunday morning, and it snowed anew all afternoon, with the National Weather Service predicting up to 4 inches more by Monday morning.

Two of the three runways at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were operating, but airlines canceled scores of flights Saturday and Sunday, leaving several hundred people wondering when they'd get on a plane, airport spokesman Perry Cooper said. Alaska and Horizon airlines suspended all service Sunday afternoon.

Several airlines urged passengers to rebook flights online from their homes, rather than clog ticket counters. Virgin America encouraged passengers not to fly out of Seattle on Sunday by waiving ticket-change fees for anyone who decided to stay home.

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