Delays trickle in to Augusta

Passengers find ways to complete journeys

Bruna Oliveira waited five hours in the crowded Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport before she decided to take her chances on the road.


"The roads were terrible," she said after turning in her rental car at Augusta Regional Airport on Wednesday. "They were really too dangerous to drive."

Oliveira, of Aiken, arrived at the Atlanta airport from Brazil at 4 a.m. Wednesday, but the wait seemed unending.

"They didn't know when the next plane would leave," she said, so she took the two-hour drive to Augusta rather than wait for the flight.

Ken and Camille Brown, of Aiken, breathed a sigh of relief after landing in Augusta on Wednesday afternoon.

"We've been awake at least 30 hours," Camille Brown said.

The couple had their gate changed at least four times in Atlanta while trying to return home from Los Angeles.

Although it was chaotic in Atlanta, Delta Air Lines spokesman Anthony Black said that flights are increasing after snow and ice that is affecting Northeastern airports.

Delta was down to just 280 canceled flights in Atlanta. The airline had 1,940 cancellations systemwide.

"It was crazy," Rajeev Singh said while resting in the Augusta terminal. "Two of my flights were canceled."

Singh said he didn't quite understand the issue. Compared to North Dakota, where he is originally from, the weather didn't seem that bad.

Richard Brueggenier said that even though Atlanta's airport was getting a lot of attention, situations at the Charlotte, N.C., airport were also backlogged.

After arriving in Charlotte from Munich on Monday, he was stuck for two days before finally making it to Augusta. Now he has two weeks to rest before hitting the terminals again for a return trip to Munich.

"We hope it will be cleared up by then," he said.

Diane Johnston, the marketing director at Augusta Regional, said activity was starting to pick back up after many cancellations Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Delta flights into Augusta were experiencing at least one cancellation with several more delays. The other airlines -- US Airways Express and American Eagle -- appeared to be moving on schedule.

She recommended that, to avoid unnecessary delays, travelers monitor their flights from the airline Web sites before going to the airport. Even if they can get out of Augusta they might get stuck in another airport, Johnston said.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.