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Weather-related delays already impacting air travelers on the Central Coast

Weather-related delays and cancellations are already impacting air travelers on the Central Coast.
Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 22:39:57-05

Traffic at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is picking up and the weather is becoming a challenge, so officials recommend arriving at least two hours before your flight.

Steelers fans Darla and Paul Garcia have big plans in Pittsburgh this weekend.

“We’ll be in the end zone. I’ll be dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus,” Darla said.

The two will be watching the game against the Raiders on Saturday. 

“I’ll be dressed as a Steelers Santa Claus,” Paul added.

Meanwhile, Alisha Shuford and her family packed some bulky jackets.

“We’re headed back to my hometown in Colorado Springs, hoping for snow but after our flight,” she said.

Although passengers are eager to see their loved ones, airport officials recommend packing patience.

“We’re going to my grandparents' in Wyoming to just spend it with family,” said Riley Kuyper, who is traveling with her mom.

Winter weather is getting in the way of many passengers.

“We fly to Denver, and then from Denver to Pittsburgh,” said Darla Garcia.

“Hopefully we get in,” her husband added.

At least one flight arriving from Denver to San Luis Obispo was canceled on Thursday.

“When there is a cancellation coming in from somewhere else, it is going to impact travel here, so you want to check with your carrier prior to coming to the airport,” recommended Courtney Pene, San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport’s Deputy Director of Planning and Outreach.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 7 million people in the U.S. will fly to their holiday destination. That’s a 13 percent increase compared to 2021 when approximately 6.29 million people traveled by air.

“Our busiest months here at the airport are typically October and November but needless to say, people are excited to come here and travel and come through our doors,” Pene said. “It’s typically not our busiest month, but it is a busy time.”

The parking lot at the San Luis Obispo airport is already looking pretty full.

“If passengers want to park here, we advise that they come early to look for parking, but we are also encouraging people to consider alternate modes of transportation — consider being dropped off or picked up, Uber and Lyft are popular options as well,” Pene said.

On Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, the San Luis Obispo airport will have an event called Tunes in the Terminal from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. There will be live music for passengers to enjoy — another way to encourage people to get there early.

Other helpful tips include checking in early, downloading your boarding pass and being ready for TSA requirements.