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TRAVEL UPDATE: Storms slowed flights through Dallas; Austin airport parking filling up

Traveling to see loved ones for the holidays? We will keep you up to date with the information you need to know as you hit the roads or head the airport. 

Christmas weekend travel resources:

UPDATES:

2:55 p.m.: The cold front swept through Austin by Friday afternoon but the thunderstorms expected to be on its leading edge remained parked over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and delayed flights at both major airports there. 

FAA data from FlightAware showed that more than a quarter of flights between noon and 4 p.m. were delayed going in and out of Dallas Love Field and DFW International Airport as of 2:45 p.m. Advisories that have since expired pinned the delays on the storms. 

All and all, things appear to be running rather smoothly across the rest of the country. Earlier congestion delays at Miami and Philadelphia airports have cleared up and the usual choke points at airports in Chicago, Newark, N.J., and the ones in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles all report that operations are running mostly on time. 

Back at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:

  • The uncovered long-term parking lots remain full, but overflow lots and garages still have spaces.
  • Travelers in line at the airport’s Transportation Security Administration checkpoints face a wait time of up to 14 minutes as of 2:30 p.m.
  • No flight cancellations have been reported so far.

11:30 a.m.: So far, so good for most of the nation’s major airports and airline hubs on this busy holiday travel day, FAA data shows. 

Flights are landing and taking off on time with a couple of exceptions across the country, including at notoriously delay-prone airports like Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. 

It’s all clear also at other major hubs, including airports in Detroit, Minneapolis, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and New York. 

However, things aren’t so jolly at two major American Airlines hubs: Philadelphia is reporting delays of up to 30 minutes because of congestion, which are expected to worsen; and at Miami International Airport, where congestion delays of up to 45 minutes are finally beginning to ease. Southwest’s hub at Dallas Love Field is also reporting delays of up to 40 minutes.

Back at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:

  • The uncovered long-term parking lots remain full, but overflow lots and garages still have spaces.
  • Travelers in line at the airport’s Transportation Security Administration checkpoints face a wait time of up to 13 minutes as of 11:30 a.m.
  • No flight cancellations have been reported so far.

8:40 a.m.: The main economy parking lots at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have filled up and officials have opened nearby overflow lots, according to the airport’s parking website

The best way to the overflow lots is to exit Texas 71 at the Spirit of Texas Drive, which is one exit before the main exit for the main terminal. 

Don’t want to fight for parking at the airport? Here are some alternatives to getting to your flights. 

Alternatives to driving to the airport:

8 a.m.: Fog and light rain continue to be a hazard for drivers on Interstate 35, especially on overpasses and bridges, so travelers should be aware of slick roads and sudden stops in traffic.

The National Weather Service recommends that drivers in foggy conditions slow down, use low-beam headlights and keep some distance between themselves and the cars in front of them.

Meanwhile, at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the facility’s parking website says all lots are open, but the long-term parking garages are filling fast.

Travelers in line at the airport’s Transportation Security Administration checkpoints face a wait time of up to 12 minutes as of 8 a.m.

No flight cancellations have been reported so far.

7:20 a.m.: Southwest Airlines reports that only two of its flights from Austin-Bergstrom to Dallas’ Love Field have been delayed, following reports that a fire alarm went off at the airport prompting a brief evacuation.

As many as three cancellations and 21 delayed flights have been reported at Love Field, the Dallas Morning News reported.

According to a statement from Love Field, the alarm was triggered by an air conditioning unit that overheated but normal operations have resumed there.


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