Bad Travel Day for SFO Travelers

While the Midwest continues to deal with the aftermath of a snowstorm tying up air travel in states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, the Bay Area is dealing with its own bit of travel headaches caused by the local weather.

Low-hanging, thick clouds stuck around San Francisco International Airport all morning, preventing planes from flying in and out. From 35 to 60 in just a couple hours, the number of cancellations at SFO continued to grow Friday morning into the afternoon. Airports in Oakland and San Jose were pleased to report they each only had one cancelation each.

The wet weather pattern is expected to continue into the weekend, but dry up for Christmas Day.

Sherri and Gary Jones of Seattle were stuck at SFO on Friday afternoon, unable to get to Los Angeles for a funeral. They were trying to get to the service for Gary Jones' mother, but they received a text their flight had been canceled.

"The viewing is at 6:30 tonight," Sherri Jones said. "I'm feeling like we won't make it. We're not very happy."
Mark Stephens of Hayward was dressed in Santa Claus garb, ready for his flight to D.C. with his usual preparations pre-trip. He had a more light-hearted attitude. But he wasn't missing a funeral.

“I just plan way ahead," he said. "I’m here three hours ahead of time. Then I just roll with the punches.”

Dhana Suresh of Cupertino was getting into the security line headed to the family’s Hawaiian vacation when she expressed surprise at the crowds. “We thought the 21st," she said. "Everybody’s too scared to travel so we’ll have really smooth travel. Everybody thought the same.”
The canceled flights spanned from Renoe-Tahoe to Palm Springs, Modesto to Monterey.

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said: “Lots of the flights are very full today, so they will continue to operate albeit somewhat delayed. I think the day will really show based on how the weather comes in and the severity of the rain will really determine how long the delays are.”
Seema Patel of Berkeley said her United Airlines flight was overbooked, but she made lemonade out of the situation.

“We’re actually a little excited to see if we can bargain for some extra certificates for the oversold flights," she said." Because I know it’s a mess right now.”
For Stephens - the one dressed as Santa - it’s just about focusing on what’s important, especially during the holidays.

“Everybody just relax, it’s the Christmas season," he said. "Take it easy, that’s the point!”

NBC Bay Area's Kim Tere contributed to this report.

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