Wind turns Southwest flight around
Friday's high winds left hundreds stranded at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport after several flights were canceled or delayed as a result of the weather. YNN's Meg Rossman has reaction from passengers and how the wind literally turned one flight around.
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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — What caused hundreds of angry travelers to gather at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Friday?
"Everything was on time and Southwest decided to cancel all their flights," California resident Sandy Robson explained.
Robson was supposed to be on a flight headed for Las Vegas and was one of several seemingly delayed or canceled due to weather.
"They canceled at least five or six flights at our gate,” Fort Lauderdale resident Marcy Wiggle said. "They're saying it's because of the weather, because of the wind the planes are icing up and they can't get them off the ground. They had one plane that went out and all of a sudden it came back again."
That plane turned out to be Southwest Flight 2951 headed for Baltimore at 1:30 p.m. Friday, and if a photo taken by one of the 108 passengers on board is any indication, it would have been a bumpy ride.
"Our understanding was that the winds here were gusting 30 to 35 miles per hour," Buffalo native Daniel Berger said.
According to the FAA, that wind caused Flight 2951 to turn a full 90 degrees while taxiing for departure before tow operators could turn it back around.
A statement from the NFTA read in part:
“Safety crews met the aircraft to offer any necessary support. At no time did the aircraft exit the pavement and Southwest crews did an excellent job in checking out the aircraft after taxiing back to the gate. The 108 passengers aboard departed for Baltimore at approx. 3:35 p.m.”
Though that doesn't account for why several other Southwest flights were canceled or delayed Friday while other airlines like Delta continued operations.
"Our flight from Atlanta to here was fine," Berger explained.
But despite the delay, even these passengers say it's better to be safe than sorry.
"It happens,” Jody Fountain said. “It's a risk you take I guess when you travel."