Feb 1, 2015 11:45 PM

Fog in Phoenix causes flight delays, cancellations

The Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport said flight operations were back to normal by Sunday afternoon after dense fog caused numerous delays and cancellations.

Airport spokeswoman Heather Lissner said that all departing flights were back on schedule. However, arriving flights were still trying to catch up.

On Sunday night, the airport warned that because of winter weather on the East Coast, flights to Boston and New York might be delayed or canceled Monday morning. Monday was expected to be the busiest day in Sky Harbor history.

Super Bowl Sunday got off to an inconvenient start for hundreds of passengers trying to get to Phoenix for the game.

Lissner says the fog led to 30 arriving and departing flights being canceled. Another 80 flights coming and going were also delayed. Travelers or anyone picking up passengers should still check their flight status with their airline, Lissner added.

Kickoff for New England Patriots' 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks was at 4:30 p.m. MST at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Paul Coro, a sports reporter for the Arizona Republic, was supposed to be at what would have been his first ever Super Bowl experience. Instead, he has spent more than 11 hours at the Oakland Airport. The sports writer was covering a Phoenix Suns road game the night before and was supposed to be on a 6 a.m. flight back to Phoenix. But because of fog, his US Airways flight kept getting delayed and then canceled. He was moved to a 12:30 p.m. flight that has since been delayed.

"I went from being able to attend my first Super Bowl to watching without sound on a TV in gate 8 of Oakland International," Coro said.

Airline employees told him the problem now was the amount of air traffic at Sky Harbor, he said. US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said the airline had 31 cancellations and 17 flight diversions as a result of the fog. The company was still in the process of trying to get customers rebooked on flights.

"Our employees are hard at work trying to re-accommodate their customers," Christie said. "There are still delays now as we realign our crews, our equipment. All these pieces have to come into play."

While Coro is used to dealing with travel delays because of his work, this is one delay that will sting for a long time.

"Now it's making my gut turn a little bit, watching it on TV," Coro said.

His assignment Sunday would have been to write sidebars on the Seattle Seahawks. Luckily, there are other co-workers at the stadium who can take over.

"They'll be fine without me but I was looking forward to the experience of it," Coro said. "It's not one of those things where you can say 'Oh well, there'll always be next year.'"


Follow Terry Tang on twitter at https://www.twiiter.com/ttangAP


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