Flights at Orlando International Airport canceled, delayed as winter storm hits US

3 million passengers expected through Orlando International Airport this season

ORLANDO, Fla. – Some travelers at Orlando International Airport are looking at delays and cancellations as a powerful winter storm moves from the Plains and Midwest to the east coast.

Dozens of flights were canceled through Orlando early Thursday.

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The National Weather Service said Wednesday the storm was so large and encompassing that around 190 million people are currently under some type of winter weather advisory.

Dusty Smith said his family spent some extra time at the airport after their flight was delayed.

“Coming from Atlanta, I guess the storms held us up,” Smith said. “Our plane has been delayed and we’re stuck in the airport for four hours.”

The frustrations for the Smith family came as officials said they were experiencing one of the busiest holiday seasons in the airport’s history.

So far, the airport has seen approximately 720,000 travelers coming through its gates, which is an 8% increase from last year, officials said.

Knowing things would be crowded, Shari Toyloi said she wasn’t taking any chances for a trip to Massachusetts with her dog.

“I woke up extra, extra, extra early,” Toyloi said. “My flight is at 9:20 a.m., I got up at 5:30 a.m. just to make sure.”

Officials are still expecting 3 million passengers coming through during the holiday travel time. As of now, the busiest day is expected to be Monday, Jan. 2 with 163,000 travelers, the release shows.

Passengers are urged to arrive three hours before their flight, as issues with parking, ticketing, security or weather could cause unexpected delays.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.