BTV passengers brace for travel scramble - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

BTV passengers brace for travel scramble

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Travelers trickled in Monday to Burlington International Airport, some heading home for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

"I am out of here as fast as possible before the storm arrives Wednesday. It may not be a big storm but I still want to be in the sun, so I am leaving," said Mara Brazilian, an Arizona-bound passenger.

A  big storm system is already taking a toll on the busiest travel time of the year. Thousands of passengers at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport were stranded after nearly 300 flights were canceled as a precaution.   Dallas is a major hub, so a ripple effect could be felt across the nation just as people begin to head home for Thanksgiving. "We are not getting calls as of yet, but we do expect that to be coming in as the weather changes," said Roxane Shappy with Milne Travel.

Shappy says in light of the storm, the airlines may start issuing waivers that will allow people to change their flights to avoid getting stuck at the airport, maybe to go out on an earlier flight Tuesday vs. Wednesday. She also has this advice for air travelers: "Watch the web sites. They can also call the airlines, but as the waivers start being put out there for people to make the changes without penalty, the phone lines will be very, very busy. So probably best to watch the websites, see what's going on.  They should be able to make their changes through the websites."

And the airport is also getting ready for the busy holiday. Not only for whatever Mother Nature has up her sleeve, but also for the expected crowds. And while flights might make it out of Burlington, hang-ups can come at connecting hubs. "When you see winter weather or any kind of weather it usually creates more congestion at the hubs that feed airports like Burlington, so passengers may see some delays in that regard -- or cancellations," said the airport's Ryan Betcher.

Barry Stone was returning to Vermont from North Carolina following the big UVM Duke Basketball game. "I shouted and screamed so loud -- we almost won the game. It was the most unbelievable experience. I lost my voice. It's nice to be home though for Thanksgiving," he said.

And as far as the impending storm? Mara wouldn't risk it. "Switch your flight for $100 and go now while you can," she said.

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