BILLINGS — Nationwide, flights are being canceled and delayed during the busiest season of the year, but the Billings-Logan International Airport has been faring better than most during the hectic travel time.
Shane Ketterling, Billings assistant director of aviation and transit, said travelers departing from Billings last week did have to deal with circumstances surrounding low temperatures.
“Now that we’re after Christmas, right before New Year’s, things have improved significantly,” Ketterling said Thursday. “Aircraft do not like operating at 40 or 50 below zero, so there were some cancelations, some delays last week.”
Jordahn White of Williston, N.D. was traveling from Billings to Arizona last Thursday during low temperatures and was among those who experienced some delays leaving the city.
“Originally, we were supposed to arrive in Phoenix, which was our end destination, around 10:30 a.m. and didn’t end up getting there until about 8 p.m.," White said.
Some also had difficulties traveling to Billings, like the Talafuse brothers who were traveling with their father from Nashville, Tenn.
“We were coming to visit our grandparents and cousins,” Asoka Talafuse said.
“Delta just on the spot canceled the flight,” said Mo Talafuse.
So they were stuck looking for another way to get to Billings.
“We had basically no idea what to do looking for flights,” Asoka said.
They made it to Billings over 24 hours after their expected arrival and are hopeful the journey home will be smooth sailing, unlike the destination here.
“Everything’s back on track here at Billings. I know there’s some trouble elsewhere around the country with a few airlines, Southwest in particular,” Ketterling said.
The airport does not carry Southwest Airlines, which may contribute to the few cancellations and delays Billings has seen.
Ketterling also said the airport has roughly 1,500 passengers flying out daily this week and that number is anticipated to decrease to 1,000 daily into the weekend.