RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Travelers found chairs, couches and even some spots on the floor to wait out the winter storm at Richmond International Airport on Sunday and early Monday.
Many had to spend the night in the airport, catching some sleep wherever they could after 111 flights were canceled on Sunday. One Monday, nearly 40 flights were canceled.
Long lines developed as people waited to catch, flights, buses and trains.
Others sat in planes for hours waiting until it was clear to take-off only to be taken back to the airport when the flight was canceled.
“Relief that I’m finally off the plane because it took forever and a day for them to finally say it was cancelled," one passenger said.
The man said he sat on a United Airlines flight for hours before it was finally cancelled.
“From 7:30 am to about 5 p.m. That’s a long day. They kept giving us cookies and sodas," he described.
Flight 1543 to Denver, CO, boarded around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the man says passengers didn’t get off the plane until after 5 p.m.
The man says he was trying to see his family in California. He said the flight could have taken off before the snow became bad, but was delayed because of the contracting company United Airline uses to de-ice the plane.
The man said people weren’t happy.
“Oh yes indeed. They are trying not to show it too much but you can hear the grumblings among the passengers," the man said.
United Airlines confirms there was an issue. They sent this statement saying:
“The safety of our customers and our employees is our top priority and we understand that today’s winter storm has resulted in frustrating travel experiences for some of our customers. Flight 1543 from Richmond to Denver today experienced multiple delays due to weather conditions and was later canceled due to weather. Our customer service team is working with customers this evening providing meals and helping to find available hotels in the area.”
“I really need to get out today,” Teddy Walsh said on Sunday.
Walsh was just trying to take his family to Disney World in Orlando.
They haven’t been in decades.
“We got taxied down the runway. And we got to the end. And we just sat there and sat there and sat there. It wasn’t clear enough for us to go so we had to turn around," Walsh said.
They later found out they are stuck until Monday afternoon.
Snow plows were seen circling the airport, making it safer for those coming in and out.
A spokesman for the airport says crews put down a brine mixture before the snow started falling.
“I said 'Baby I might just have to drive you to Potsville," John OGarro said.
OGarro was trying to get his wife on a plane for a business trip to Philly and Potsville, Pennsylvania.
That flight was cancelled and now John must drive.
“We got on the airplane and they took us out on the tarmac and they said one of the de-icer trucks broke down,” Robert Hawk said.
Robert Hawk’s flight was delayed five times before it finally got the cut.
From the air to the ground, there were cancellations all over the area.
Amtrak canceled several routes and there were long lines inside the Greyhound bus station terminal as buses roll in but not many roll out.
The spokesperson for United Airlines says they provided food and hotel arrangements for those passengers on the flight affected.