Winter storms around the country impacting holiday travelers at Tampa International Airport

Storms around the country are already hammering travelers at Tampa International Airport. From Atlanta to Washington, holiday travelers are facing a wall of cancelations and delays with snow stopping many planes in their tracks. 

Relatives of Tampa resident Margaret Becker were delayed even though they were coming from the Dominican Republic via Miami. They were only late though by a half hour.

"We are going to spend Christmas Eve, spend time together, they’re elderly, so it’s getting to the point where they’re not going to be able to travel that much anymore," Becker said.

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From Chicago to New York, to Denver to San Antonio, TPA travelers were seeing red. Dozens of flights have been canceled.

"We were supposed to fly tomorrow," said Tom Goeltz of Ohio. "Then I called and switched it to today because of all the weather that’s coming in to Cincinnati. I don’t think people are going to get out tomorrow."

Airport officials said the number of travelers normally goes up by one-third during the holidays, often from 60,000 passengers a day to 80,000.

"The airlines do a really good job of canceling those flights ahead of time," said TPA spokesperson Emily Nipps. "So they can go ahead and tell people you don’t need to go to the airport, we will rebook you on a different flight. People have really grown accustomed to keeping an eye on that."

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The airport does say that extra staff, as usual, has been called in to handle longer lines at security, concessions and ticketing counters. 

Airport officials certainly urge travelers to check flights before leaving home and to get to the airport a couple of hours early just to make sure there’s time to adjust flights or schedules.