Sandy-spawned delays still plague nation's airports

Officials ask travelers to 'be patient'

Officials ask travelers to 'be patient'

BEND, Ore. - As flight delays continue to pile up across the country, a word of warning for anyone looking to travel over the next few days: A Central Oregon airport official says avoid heading to the East Coast, for now, if you can.

The warning comes after nearly 2,000 flights were already canceled Tuesday night for Wednesday morning.

Many of the large airports on the East Coast closed, stranding thousands of people. Tuesday alone, nearly 7,000 flights were canceled across the country, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty making up 2,400 of those flights.

"The airports have to be ready to reopen, and if they have some flooding concerns or flooding issues, they have to be make sure their facilities are ready to accept flights again," Kim Dickie, airport manager at Roberts Field, said Tuesday.

She says the airport is not seeing any delays or cancellations because of the storm. It's when you get to larger airports like Portland, Seattle or Denver that travelers start feeling the impact.

"It's going to be quite some time before the East Coast airports can get back up and running," said Dickie. "I think it's going to be a challenge for anyone who wants to get to the East Coast."

The best thing to do, if you must travel in the next week, is to give yourself plenty of time once you get to the airport.

"If people can be really patient, if they don't have an immediate need to travel to the East Coast, we really recommend they delay as long as possible," said Dickie.

Airline officials say if you do plan to travel to the East Coast, be sure to check the entire itinerary of your trip: That way, you don't get stuck halfway there.

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