BWI tries to return to normal service

Airport crews to clear second runway by afternoon

February 08, 2010|By Meredith Cohn meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

Activity began ramping up at Baltimore- Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Sunday night, and the airport and airlines said Monday they were getting closer to normal operations.

Airlines that had ceased operations on Friday afternoon began bringing planes back to the airport after BWI crews were able to clear snow from one major commercial runway, said Jonathan Dean, airport spokesman. Crews hoped to have the second major runway open Monday afternoon.

Dean said he didn't believe any passengers slept at the airport over the weekend, and airlines were busy rescheduling those whose flights were canceled.

While flights were resuming, many already are listed as delayed on the airport's board. And with more snow on the way Tuesday, it wasn't clear how long the airlines would keep flying.

AirTran Airways, BWI's second largest carrier with about 60 daily flights, reported that only three flights were canceled Monday at affected airports. And most of those flying are on time, said Chris White, a spokesman.

The airline canceled 374 flights during the weekend at eight airports including BWI. Agents are working to reschedule passengers and prepare for the next snow fall. White said the airline hadn't decided if they will cancel flights and move planes out of town.

As for Monday, "We are relatively back to normal," he said. "All gates are available and flights are moving on schedule. But the best advice, snow or not, is to check with airtran.com before going to the airport."

Southwest Airlines said it had canceled the majority of morning service Monday, but the airport's board listed several flights coming and going by noon. The airline said, "Our ability to resume scheduled service is contingent upon the conditions of the runways, taxiways, and other airport services."

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