Flight delays and cancellations leave Lambert International Airport nearly vacant, days before Christmas

Airport officials said 30% of flights were cancelled at the regional hub for Thursday
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 5:26 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Holiday travel is on thin ice at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and airports around the country, as those hitting the skies are still getting hit with delays and even cancelations, Thursday.

A ticket home was a mad scramble for Claire Potter to get her mom to St. Louis before Christmas.

" She’s by herself traveling, you don’t have her baggage, she’s being told it’ll leave without her, its stressful,” Potter said.

Her mother was stranded in Denver for 18 hours.

“We were on the phone for like an hour and a half, just refreshing trying to get my mom anything,” Potter shared. “They tried to book her for December 25th and we were like no way.”

Airline crews could be seen treating planes on the tar-mac all day, Thursday. Airport officials said that’s common practice with such low temps. It’s a procedure the airport said is expected to be in place until the Christmas holiday.

According to Lambert International Airport, 30% of flights were cancelled. That’s more than 100 flights cancelled, and 130 plus flights delayed.

This turned Terminal B into a ghost town. Few people could be seen checking for boarding passes and walking through TSA check, but a constant crowd around arrival and departure boards.

Deborah Humphrey waited for hours for her daughter to arrive from Dallas.

“I just really want to see her most of all,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey said she doesn’t mind airlines putting delays and cancellations in place.

“I’d rather wait and make sure they get here safely, but just want her to get here,” Humphrey said.

The same for Eric Mudd, who stood patiently, looking forward to reuniting with his daughter and two grandkids, who he hasn’t seen in more than a year.

“We were going to get out and try and see some lights,” Mudd shared. “So we are just going to stay inside, play games, and do the Christmas thing.”

Of all the happy endings, the Potter family reunion was the loudest in Terminal B, Thursday night. It was the moment mom landed safely into their arms.

“We moved here for family so we will be with everyone, and she’s the missing piece,” Potter said.

The St. Louis Lambert International Airport encourages all flyers to arrive two-and-a-half hours before flight departure to allow time for weather, security, and delays.