Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Steamboat Springs Passengers booked on United Express and United Airlines flights between Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver face the possibility of a third day of cancellations today.
The resumption of flights at Denver International was still touch and go Wednesday night as the airport struggled to resume operations after a monumental snowstorm smacked Colorado's Front Range.
"The 10:45 a.m. flight is still on the computer for tomorrow, so it hasn't been canceled yet," Air Wisconsin's supervisor at YVRA Carol Ficker said Wednesday afternoon. "We got the 8:45 a.m. flight out Tuesday, but after that, everything has been canceled."
Ficker appealed to passengers to monitor news reports to learn whether there was a hope of the Denver airport reopening.
Other flights operating in and out of YVRA from cities like Chicago and Dallas were unaffected by the Front Range's extreme weather. Airport manager Jim Parker said a daily Continental jet from Houston was late Tuesday, but that was due to bad weather in south Texas.
United serves YVRA with a daily 737 during ski season and Air Wisconsin, operating as United Express, operates four British Aerospace commuter jet flights a day.
A United spokesman said the shutdown in Denver was affecting travelers in his company's destination cities across the country. About 300 flights elsewhere had been canceled thus far.
Ficker said Tuesday is a relatively light day for passenger traffic at YVRA, and that fact meant the number of inconvenienced passengers wasn't a great as it might have been on a Saturday. The BAE 146 aircraft carries between 86 and 100 passengers. One flight scheduled to arrive on Wednesday would have carried 22 passengers -- departing flights showed 40 to 60 passengers.
Ficker said her staff was able to rebook many of the Denver passengers on American and Continental flights headed for hubs beyond Colorado. Some passengers requested bus transportation, but Ficker rejected that plan as impractical.
"I was not about to put them on a bus so they could get stuck on I-70 for six hours," Ficker said.
The interstate was closed all day Wednesday east of Silverthorne to Denver and was expected to remain closed overnight.