The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy spells havoc for travelers, travel industry

By Roger McKinney

— Corrie Sifers was planning on spending a few days with college roommate Jaclyn Kurle in Washington, D.C.

Hurricane Sandy has changed her travel plans and extended her visit.

Sifers, of Kansas City, Mo., is married to Morgan Jones, who grew up in Joplin. His mother is Veda Jones, of Joplin. Kurle is originally from Lamar. They were roommates at Missouri State University, Springfield.

Sifers said she had planned to fly home Monday from Reagan National Airport. She said she called her airline Sunday night to check on her flight.

“I called Frontier,” Sifers said. “I guess a lot of other people were also calling. I was on hold for about 35 minutes. They told me they would try to get me on a flight Tuesday night.”

Sifers said she was hoping for that, but she wasn’t counting on it. She said she’s preparing for the possibility of staying until Thursday before flying home to Kansas City.

She said she is keeping a close watch on the Weather Channel. She said the past few times she has visited her college friend, there have been flight delays.

“I didn’t expect to be stranded,” she said.

Kent Boyd, spokesman at the Springfield-Branson Airport, said those planning to travel by plane in the next few days should change their plans, if they can. Otherwise, their travel plans will be changed for them.

“We’re not seeing any arrival or departure delays from here, and I don’t think we will,” Boyd said Monday. “The bottom line is folks leaving Southwest Missouri today, tomorrow, probably Wednesday, once they leave Southwest Missouri and they get to a major hub airport, they’re probably going to get a big headache.”

He said flying out of the area won’t be difficult, but flying back probably will be.

“I just think (for) the next three days traveling is going to be a complete mess when you get to the big hubs.”

Joplin’s airline

American Eagle, part of American Airlines, serves the Joplin Regional Airport with flights to and from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines on Sunday suspended operations at nine East Coast airports until Wednesday afternoon, according to a news release. American and American Eagle canceled 140 flights Sunday and 1,431 flights through Wednesday. Operations may resume in some cities Wednesday.