“There have been a lot of cancellations, so people are just not coming if they don’t have a flight,” airport spokeswoman Myrna White said. “Passengers are more savvy; they’re calling ahead, and airlines are contacting customers to let them know if their flights are canceled.”
Outside the airport the sun shone brightly on a crisp, gusty fall day. Inside, in the atrium waiting area, near one of the security checkpoints, a handful of stranded flyers sat around Monday morning. Some snoozed in squishy chairs, while others passed the time reading, playing on their phones or using their laptop computers.
Eric Danielson had a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Norfolk, Va., to begin a new job. What was supposed to be a two-hour layover in Atlanta looked likely to stretch into a second day as airline officials told him today was the earliest he’d be able to fly.
“I’m trying to have a smooth transition, and this is not helping,” he said.
Danielson was in good spirits Monday morning, chatting with other bored passengers, browsing Facebook and YouTube on his phone and communicating with friends and family by email and text message.
Erik Van Limburg, a Dutch citizen, left his home at 6 a.m. Sunday to fly from Amsterdam to Atlanta and on to Richmond, Va., for a business meeting. By the time he got to Richmond on Sunday evening, he learned the meeting, which was supposed to run through Friday, had been canceled. He spent the night in a hotel in Richmond and caught one of the last flights out at 6 a.m. Monday. He was reading to pass the time until his 9 p.m. flight back to Amsterdam.
“So basically, I’ll have traveled three days in the U.S. only seeing airports due to the storm,” he said. “It’s boring. It’s really boring, but OK. The alternative was to stay in Richmond for a couple of days waiting until the storm was gone.”
Brenda Anyatonwu works as a housing inspector and was trying to get to Winchester, Va., for work. When she arrived in Atlanta from Houston just after 10 a.m. Monday, she was told she wouldn’t be able to get to Virginia until Tuesday, or later.
“I’m just going to have to hang out at the airport and wait and see what’s going to happen. You know, hopefully I can get a flight out tomorrow and not have that one be canceled as well,” she said. “Everything is iffy right now.”