NewsLocal News


All but one of Billings flights to Denver canceled Wednesday for bomb cyclone storm

Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:51-04

BILLINGS- Travelers on United Airline flights out of Billings heading to Denver are being impacted by the bomb cyclone storm that’s hitting the Rocky Mountains and the central United States.

Shane Ketterling, Billings Logan International Airport’s assistant director said that all flights out of Billings to Denver have been canceled as of late Wednesday.

This happened after Denver International Airport was forced to cancel upwards of a thousand flights due to the impending winter storm. Colorado is facing 60 mph winds and zero visibility.

One flight was able to get out of Billings at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, but after that, the rest were canceled.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that travelers were stranded in Montana trying to get to Colorado.

Brian Beam, United Airlines Billings general manager, said travelers were alerted as early as Monday those flights would be impacted. He said a networks operations team members that include meteorologists, were predicting and planning for the bomb cyclone early on and were able to alert customers that flights would be impacted.

“The majority of our flights were pre-canceled as of yesterday,” said Beam.

Four flights take off from Billings en route to Denver each day. One flight heads out early in the morning, another goes during the mid-morning at around 10 a.m. while another flies out at around 1 p.m. and another later in the evening at around 6:00 p.m.

Beam said the next flight to leave Billings to Denver will be Thursday at around 10 a.m.

With 400 seats a day heading to Denver from Billings and 400 back, Beam said less than 30 passengers came to the airport looking for an alternative route.

He said most already took advantage of the advanced notice and canceled or moved their travel plans.

He said United prepares for this kind of weather event.

“It happens all the time,” Beam said. “Throughout the country with the weather, unfortunately, this is one of the things that happen when you fly in the winter.”

Ketterling said there is some disruption to the Billings airport felt in a ripple effect.

“Travelers are just being moved back a day,” he said.

In addition, he said the airport is out in landing fees which gathers a few hundred dollars a flight.

Still, as the airlines stay proactive once the weather breaks, flights can get moving pretty quickly again according to Beam.