Canceled Portland flights affect Sea-Tac

January 10, 2004

By RAY LANE / KING 5 News and Wire Reports

SEATTLE - Itís another day of air travel woes in the Northwest with many airlines canceling flights to Portland International Airport Friday.

That means a continuing ripple effect on flights at Sea-Tac International Airport.

American Airlines has canceled all its flights Friday in and out of PDX, making it the third airline to do so. Alaska Airlines and America West have also canceled all their flights Friday.

Travelers make inquiries at a ticket counter at Portland International Airport. (AP Photo)
Continental was scheduled to have a flight depart at 8 a.m, Hawaiian Air at 9 a.m, United at 11 a.m and Southwest at noon.

Northwest has canceled departures but will have arrivals.

Portland International Airport officially re-opened before the sun came up Friday, and the first flight since Tuesday took off around 7 a.m.

But a short time after that announcement, the airport went black in a power outage. A backup generator quickly kicked into gear but at last report, security scanners were without power and workers were scrambling to get them working in order.

Thousands of passengers have been stranded, some since Monday. Icy runways and ice on jets made it unsafe for airplanes to take off or land since Tuesday

Two young brothers, 13 and 11, traveling alone from Ritzville, Wash., thought they would be making a 45-minute layover at PDX on Monday. Instead, they were stranded at the Portland airport for three days.

Fortunately for them, two sympathetic Alaska Airlines agents took care of them during their stay, allowing them to sleep inside an Alaska office during the night.

The boys finally made it home late Thursday night after they took a bus to Sea-Tac, then flew to Spokane.

In Portland, with thousands of passengers grounded, they couldnít help but to get to know each other.


KING 5's Elisa Hahn's Thursday evening report

Concourses became living rooms, furnished with luggage. Some new friends even talked about a reunion.

At Sea-Tac Friday morning, travelers continued the scramble to get back in the air in the wake of our massive winter wallop. Air travelers planning to fly through Portland were advised to contact their air carrier directly and arrive extra early at the airport.

All those cancellations were stressing out both passengers and Alaska Airlines shareholders. Industry analysts predict the impact could cut the companyís first quarter earnings by several cents.


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