Charleston airport officials analyzing losses, preparing for next time

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials at the Charleston International Airport are counting their losses after hundreds of flights were canceled and more than 20,000 passengers were displaced because of the snowstorm.

Charleston International Airport Deputy Executive Director James Peacher said the airport was shut down and flights were canceled last week when authorities determined conditions weren't safe for planes to land or take off.

"The Airforce actually shut the runways because they have control over that," Peacher said.

Peacher said he and other airport officials have heard several complaints from passengers.

"I know some of the passengers have been upset and I understand that," Peacher said. "But we don't ever let anybody go in the air when we feel that there's a safety concern."

Trayvon Hymon was one of those frustrated passengers.

He was supposed to travel through Charleston on his way to Germany. His flight was supposed to leave Charleston on Thursday, but he didn't leave until Tuesday.

"I am ready to leave," Hymon said. "It's been two days and I'm just trying to hurry up and get on my flight so I can hurry up and get to Baltimore so I can go out to Germany."

Passenger Jacki Masterson was also frustrated.

"Our flight was canceled Thursday evening," Masterson said.

Thankfully, Masterson made it to her daughter's wedding but only after having to drive for 18 hours to get to Charleston.

After the wedding ended, Masterson was met with even more cancellations.

"Saturday afternoon I got a text saying that my flight was canceled going home Monday morning," Masterson said.

That inconvenience is what airport authorities are hoping they can avoid in the future.

"We're looking at outside vendors to have them already on a standby basis, so that in case this occurs we can call them up on a moment's notice," Peacher said.

Those vendors would help clear runways of ice and snow in the future.

Airport officials are still trying to figure out how much money they lost because of the cancellations.

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