FORT MYERS, Fla. - The list of cancellations grew throughout the day at Southwest Florida International Airport. And Friday night, many of those planning to travel north learned they'd be spending a couple more days here.
Airport officials said the snow storm caused about 26 cancellations at RSW. We were there as the last flight from Boston to Fort Myers landed. You could see the relief on the faces of passengers from Flight 461. "We think we might be one of the last flights out," Erin Hard said. "We are just enjoying the sun and glad to be out of the snow."
Their flight was delayed for about an hour so the plane could be de-iced, taking off from Boston Logan International with minutes to spare before the airport shut down entirely Friday afternoon.
"Part of my family and friends have had to escape foreign countries, you know, when there are revolutions, and people were looking longingly at us, as we were boarding the last plane out of Boston to Florida," Richard Raymond said.
"We were lucky enough that two people cancelled out, and we got the last two seats," Anne Francis said. "It was a hustle bustle, it was very busy."
As snow began to fall in the northeast, cancellations to and from Boston, New York and Newark appeared on the monitors. Nationwide, more than 4,700 flights have been cancelled. Passengers hoping to catch an evening flight to Toronto got some bad news of their own.
"I just found out the flight has been cancelled," John Warble told WINK News. "So, we are going to have to go back and I don't know what is going to happen for tomorrow, so I am not panicking,"
If it means avoiding the snow piles for the weekend, Wardle says there are worse places to be stuck. "This could be great," Wardle said, "I love it. It's fantastic down here."
As the storm loses strength and flights resume, airport officials want to remind everyone, no matter where they're flying, to arrive at least 2 hours ahead of time. You'll likely be dealing with some big crowds.