Icy weather forces cancellations at St. Louis-Lambert Airport

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ST. LOUIS – More than a third of all the flights at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport were canceled Friday and many others were delayed because of icy weather here and across the country.

Of the 486 daily flights, 160 did not fly.

De-icing trucks were standing by to ensure jets were safe for travel.

“A safety mechanism to make sure ice or slush or other materials don’t impact takeoff or the operations of that aircraft,” said airport spokesman Jeff Lea.

He said crews sprayed liquid salt on the runways Friday morning and were never needed again.

Maggie Mock’s two flights to Chicago never took off. She was waiting for a ride to take her to her St. Louis home. She passed the hours of waiting by studying for a medical school application test.

“It’s a little frustrating; kind of got my hopes up but I’m hoping tomorrow will be better,” she said.

Meanwhile, it appeared there were more cancellations and delays on the arrival and departure boards than on-time flights. Some flights were canceled here because of weather in other cities, and some airlines wanted to get ahead of the wintry weather.

“They did preemptively cancel dozens of flights in advance of the storm hitting here when we had dry pavement and that type of thing,” Lea said.

At Terminal 2, all outbound Southwest flights were canceled after about 4 p.m. By early evening, the ticket counter was all but empty and the security gates closed.

Melissa West and her friend became stranded in St. Louis while heading home from their Bahamas cruise. They’ve been trying to get to Kansas City.

“Now we’re waiting for my husband to come from Kansas City to drive here to pick us up,” West said.

The passengers’ problems were good for business at the eateries inside the airport. With so many people delayed, business was booming. Before you head to the airport Saturday, it may be a good idea to check with the airlines to determine your status.

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