Weather continues to disrupt air travel

Weather-related flight delays and cancellations that occurred over the weekend continued into Monday at Minot International Airport.

Two Delta departures to Minneapolis were delayed, and two other Delta departures were canceled after the inbound flights didn’t arrive. Frontier also canceled its early-morning flight, and a United flight was delayed. Other flights of Delta, United and Allegiant into the evening were running on schedule.

The airlines have been struggling with their smaller, regional jets in the cold, said Andrew Solsvig, airport director. He said some late-night flights into Minot might get disrupted due to extreme cold because airlines prefer to hold planes overnight in larger airports with greater availability of maintenance services and more amenities for passengers.

In addition to dealing with frigid temperatures, the airlines have been experiencing weather-related delays and cancellations in other parts of the country, which affects connecting flights into Minot. New rules for pilots that took effect Jan. 1 could be having some effect as well by limiting how long pilots can fly without rest periods, Solsvig said.

Because it could be a while before air traffic gets back to normal, Solsvig recommends that air travelers check the airport’s or airlines’ websites

frequently to monitor flights. People who need to reschedule should call the airline reservation line. Solsvig said people should be aware that phone waiting time with airline customer services can be up to an hour because of the extent of flight disruptions.