Thursday, January 29, 2009

Northeast storms still causing flight delays in Atlanta

Air travelers headed to the Northeast from Atlanta faced lengthy flight delays Wednesday as a winter storm barreled through the region.

The delays began early for flights from Atlanta into Philadelphia, with the Federal Aviation Administration reporting delays averaging more than two hours at 7:30 a.m. because of snow and ice.

By noon, the problems had spread to the New York area. By late afternoon, delays of up to three hours were reported up and down the Northeast seaboard.

As of 7 p.m., the FAA reported departure delays at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport ranging from slightly less than an hour for flights to Boston, to 2 to 2 1/2 hours to Philadelphia and New York-area airports.

Latest delay information is posted on the FAA’s flight delay Web site for the Southeastern U.S..

Delta and AirTran, the two largest airlines flying out of Atlanta, said they would let passengers booked on Wednesday or Thursday flights to and from affected cities change their itineraries without charge.

The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings from Kentucky to Maine.

A narrow band of rain moved through metro Atlanta late Wednesday morning, and a broader area of rain was moving into Georgia from the west during the afternoon hours.

Once the rain ends late Wednesday, colder air will settle in over the state, dropping lows Wednesday night into the low 30s.

Sunny skies are forecast for metro Atlanta Thursday, with highs in the mid-50s and lows Thursday night in the low 30s.

Friday through Sunday should be mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 40s to mid-50s and lows in the 20s.