Winter storm causing major travel headache - FOX 13 News

Winter storm causing major travel headache

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A massive winter storm is causing travel problems all over the US. Delays at other airports usually trickle down quickly to Florida, and at Tampa International, it didn't take long for flights to start backing up.

"I've been wandering around various shopping malls instead of sitting here, having coffee and waiting," said Terry Sebora scratching his head.

Sebora and his family had the perfect get together planned. They were going to pick their daughter up in Tampa on Wednesday, then drive down to Marco Island, until a certain storm froze their perfect plans.

"There's snow, there's ice and there's rain," said Janet Zink, spokesperson for TIA.

And that's making a mess for travelers at Tampa International Airport and nationwide.

"We have about 16 flight cancellations, both departures and arrivals, and 40 or so delays," Zink said Wednesday.

"She was delayed out of Dulles and spent two and a half hours on a tarmac on Dulles and didn't get out until 11 o'clock," said Sebora.

His daughter got as far as Jacksonville, but then encountered three more flight delays.

"United is bussing her and eight other people from Jacksonville to Tampa, and we've driving from Marco Island to pick her up here," said Sebora, who added that by the time the bus got to Tampa and they get back to Marco Island, they would have both been on the road nearly the entire day.

"First flight was 9:40," said Dina Sebold, whose family was waiting at TIA. "That got delayed until 2 a.m., so then we switched to this flight that's supposed to leave at 3 this afternoon, and now that was delayed until 8:30 tonight."

Sebold and her family were visiting Fort Myers but flew out of Tampa because it was cheaper and more convenient, when suddenly they heard from their carrier on their drive up.

"Southwest, they ping you," said her husband, Ed.

They got a text message saying their 9:40 p.m. flight was delayed until after 2 a.m. Thursday, and then they got rescheduled twice.

"Well, the lady was going to actually. She said, ‘Well, I can send you to Chicago.' I went look. I'd much rather be held over in Florida than Chicago thank you very much," said Ed Sebold.

Their kids, Nick and Christopher, were ready for the long haul.

"Two iPads, we have an iPod," said Nick Sebold. "We've got movies, music, yeah."

He even carried a body-size Bucs pillow, which he got for Christmas, to keep comfy while they wait.

"Fingers are crossed," said Sebold. "Fingers are crossed. We're heading to the gate."

Two-hundred flights leave TIA daily. It's estimated about 5,000 passengers were not among those who got to take off Wednesday.

And this is by no means the end of it. Many people will be back Thursday hopeful the situation has improved, and they get on their way.

LINK: Check your flight status at

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