Blizzard conditions had an impact on travel from Pennsylvania to Maine. At least three major highways just outside New York City are closed. Thousands of flights are canceled. That had a trickle down effect to airports in other parts of the country that haven't seen a flake of snow.
Birmingham is no exception. However, it's not extreme like in other parts of the country. In situations like this, passengers are at the mercy of mother nature. In fact, two men were stuck at Birminghan-Shuttlesworth International Airport since early this morning. They waited for nearly six hours before they were able to get on a plane.
"Let me change the things I can, understand the things I can't, and the ability to know the difference," said Phil Johnson.
All he could do this morning was quote the serenity prayer. This was a situation he could not change. So decided to just roll with the punches. He was supposed get on a flight to Baltimore around 2pm. "And got to the airport, and silly me I didn't check. The flight is canceled and it's canceled because that plane was coming in from Chicago," said Johnson.
Johnson was one of thousands whose travel plans at the start of this new year were grounded. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines was able to book him for a 6pm flight. But that left him waiting in Birmingham for more than six hours. "The plans were to go up there to help my son move back to Birmingham, and I was to get there earlier today to help him pack the Uhaul truck. So we'll be doing that in the dark, in the cold, and probably the snow," he said.
While Johnson scrolled his iPad to pass the hours, a few yards away, Avery Heningburg flipped through the paper to do the same. He was flying into Detroit. He waited more than five hours. "I came early with the idea that maybe more than one flight would be leaving for Detroit. Unfortunately no, the only flight that's leaving is at 5:35," said Heningburg.
Heningburg was actually supposed to fly out Saturday. However, someone waiting to meet him in Detroit is keeping him updated on the weather and advised him to get on a plane today. "I was actually supposed to leave tomorrow at noon, and she said well it's pretty hairy with all of the delays in the Midwest, and if I didn't get on at 5:35, chances are it will be Sunday before I can get out."