Severe weather strands hundreds at RDU overnight

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Severe weather throughout the area caused major problems for people trying to fly in and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport Sunday night.

Airport officials said that at some point Sunday night, every airline experienced issues.

Overnight, stranded passengers called CBS North Carolina to help them get answers.


Since every airline was impacted at one point or another, today is about getting passengers to their destinations.

Despite having extra employees on staff, the weather caused a big jam for folks trying to fly in and out on Sunday.

RELATED: Click here to check your flight status at RDU.

Hundreds of people stood in line hoping to get good news, but many people were still waiting to get on flights Monday morning. Many waiting for new flights won’t be getting vouchers because it’s out of the airlines’ control. When lightning strikes within three miles of the airport, the ground crews cannot work, officials said.

“We were told that the flights were delayed because of the weather. That went on for a few hours. And then around 10 p.m. we were moved and told we’d be leaving and then around midnight we were told our flight was canceled,” said passenger Qiana Bell, who was headed to Miami.

Other issues faced at RDU – many flights headed to Charlotte were diverted to RDU, and some were international, which forced airport officials to direct those planes to certain gates so passengers could go through customs.

Airport officials will also take a look at what did and didn’t work while dealing with the weather-related issues.

American Airlines released a statement to CBS North Carolina regarding the diversions and cancellations Sunday night:

On Sunday night, a line of storms hit Raleigh-Durham, subsequently causing diversions and cancellations to a number of flights in RDU. Passengers will be reacommodated on future flights. Passengers can call our 24-hour reservations line: 1-800-433-7300 or be assisted by local American Airlines representatives for rebooking. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

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