Snow and ice issues delay flights in Roanoke

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 11:30 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - After a day of cancellations Sunday, the runways at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport looked busier Monday. But not every traveler was satisfied with their trip.

“The airfield is back, it’s open and operational,” Brad Boettcher with ROA said.

Crews have been moving snow and grooming the runways to get more travelers in the air.

However, 24 hours after Virginia’s latest winter weather system, there were still a few canceled trips and one major delay that kept travelers grounded for nearly nine hours.

“It’s just it’s not acceptable. It inconveniences our customers, it doesn’t look good for the airport and it doesn’t look good for the airline,” Boettcher said.

Zach Beckner was on the delayed Delta flight to Atlanta.

“I travel a lot so I am used to some delays, but in my mind this delay was completely preventable,” Beckner said as he waited for his connecting flight in Atlanta.

The plane was stuck in the snow and couldn’t de-ice properly because of equipment issues, Beckner said.

“I think a lot of the frustration was that the flight had shown on time, but when we would have rather seen it delayed or canceled, so we didn’t have to get there as early,” he said.

The airport said it’s the airline’s responsibility to clear the snow beneath the plane and it’s not uncommon to have equipment issues, but either way, they plan to fix these travel troubles.

“We want to get in and figure out what happened and put policies in place so this doesn’t happen again,” Boettcher said.

The delay in that Delta flight impacted 100 passengers. Beckner said he was able to safely end up at his final destination Monday night.

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