DALLAS — With thawing temperatures expected over the weekend, airlines are optimistic that out-of-town fans will get to icy Texas in time to see the Super Bowl.
At least 1,250 flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have been canceled this week,
The bulk of the cancelations came Tuesday and Wednesday after an ice storm coated the region.
By Thursday, DFW was operating on a nearly normal schedule even though temperatures barely rose into the 20s. American Airlines and American Eagle expect to fly more than 90 percent of their flights at the big hub.
Some visitors missed events during the weeklong buildup to Sunday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But for most fans heading to Dallas for the game, Thursday “was the first busy day and (Friday) will be the busiest,” said American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith.
“If we were going to have an ice storm in Dallas for the Super Bowl, Tuesday and Wednesday is certainly better than Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
The NFL used to prefer warm-weather spots for its championship game, but after Dallas the Super Bowl moves to a dome in Indianapolis in 2012 and outdoors in New Jersey's New Meadowlands Stadium in 2014.
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At a glance
Carriers planned extra flights
Long before the ice storm hit, the two major carriers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area added extra flights to handle the influx of Packers and Steelers fans. Operations at Will Rogers World Airport began to return to normal Wednesday, two days after a massive snowstorm blanketed the state. Airlines resumed their normal flight schedules in and out of Oklahoma City today, with the exception of flights to Chicago O'Hare and other airports affected by the weather. Karen Carney, an airport spokeswoman, said after being empty for two days, the terminal building is again bustling with passengers anxious to get to their destinations. However, travelers were advised to continue checking with their airline before heading to the airport.
From staff reports