I was in the storm at DFW last night where 10,000 passengers were stranded due to the intense hailstorm, with hail the size of golf balls. All passengers were evacuted from all aircraft, including mine headed to Dayton, Ohio, at the gates in DFW and huddled around innner areas of the terminal.
Restaurants were jammed and people were frustrated and angry. We finally got a hotel room after nearly twelve hours on duty...remember, we only get paid when the plane is moving and nothing went anywhere last night...thanks goodness people are safe.
Hundreds of cars and trucks sustained hail damage and the DFW operation is slowly coming up to speed as planes and crews and scattered all over the country.
American Cancels Flights After Hailstorm
By Mary Schlangenstein - May 25, 2011 9:03
American Airlines and American Eagle canceled 594 flights, or 17 percent of their daily schedule, and pulled 89 planes from service for possible hail damage after a series of storms raked across the central U.S.
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), based at Love Field in Dallas, expects to cancel or delay an undetermined number of flights as it checks eight aircraft for damage, a spokesman said today.
Winds of almost 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour and hail as large as 4.25 inches (11 centimeters) in diameter were reported as storms moved through Dallas-Fort Worth last night, the National Weather Service said. About 10,000 people were stranded overnight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, said David Magana, an airport spokesman.
“Airlines conducted inspections of aircraft overnight, looking for hail damage,” he said. “Depending on the results, that may have a further impact on flight schedules.”
American and its Eagle regional carrier canceled 262 flights at Dallas-Fort Worth, its largest hub, said Tim Smith, a spokesman for the carrier, in an e-mail. The Fort Worth-based airline yesterday grounded 400 flights, primarily at the Texas airport as storms moved into the area.
American, the third-biggest U.S. airline, couldn’t immediately say how long the aircraft inspections would take or whether any planes had been found with damage, Smith said. The checks include 62 American planes and 27 Eagle aircraft. Both carriers are units of AMR Corp. (AMR)
“We expect to find damage on some aircraft that will have to be repaired, but I don’t know the results of that yet,” he said. Some flights also were canceled because crews and aircraft were diverted to other cities during the storm.
Southwest, the nation’s largest low-fare carrier, operates from Love Field north of downtown Dallas. Buildings were damaged and trees blown down during the storm.
“While we were able to launch fully our originating schedule this morning, we are expecting delays and some cancellations as a result of these planes being out of the scheduled operation,” Brad Hawkins, a Southwest spokesman, said in an e-mail.
Southwest is assessing damage to its planes, and some may be out of service until May 28, said Chris Mainz, a spokesman.
American is letting customers traveling through Dallas-Fort Worth today through May 27 change reservations without paying a fee, Smith said.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is American’s largest hub, with more than 750 daily departures by the airline and American Eagle. AMR operates about 3,600 flights a day.
No damage was reported to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport facilities, Magana said. Cabs and cars parked at the south end of the airport were damaged by hail, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg