Air Travel Hit Hard by Hurricane Sandy

Air Travel Hit Hard by Hurricane Sandy

One of Hurricane Sandy's first victims was air travel. Even though Memphis may seem a long way from the storm, travelers at Memphis International Airport felt the impact.
MEMPHIS, TN ( - On Monday, October 29, Hurricane Sandy continued to churn off the northeast coast of the United States.

One of Sandy’s first victims was air travel; as of Monday, nearly 14,000 flights had been canceled.

Even though Memphis may seem a long way from the storm, travelers at Memphis International Airport felt the impact.

Airport President Larry Cox said Sandy’s impact on air travel was felt not only in Memphis and the northeast, but everywhere.

He added that when the storm is over it will still take a few days for everything to get back to normal.

Meanwhile, Monday was anything but normal for several passengers at Memphis International.

“I started my morning leaving Memphis for Atlanta,” said airline passenger Eboni McCray, “had some business in Atlanta. I was going to take another flight from Atlanta to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and found out that flight was canceled.”

While only about a dozen flights were canceled in and out of Memphis, there was still a big impact at Memphis International.

“There’s a lot of revenue on every flight,” Cox explained to

“Obviously we have certain people trying to go non-stop to some of those impacted cities,” Cox added, “like Philadelphia and New York.”

That included one stranded passenger who was trying to make it to Ithaca, New York.

She identified herself only as “Hillary.”

“Sandy is wreaking havoc for so many and I’m very concerned,” said Hillary. She was hoping to make it back to Ithaca by midnight Tuesday, but Eboni’s business trip was already a bust, even if she could have made it to Pennsylvania.

“They are not even sure that location is going to be open,” Eboni told, “because they sent all their employees home.”

And of course, more than passengers were affected.

“FedEx is being impacted,” said Cox, “I just learned it appears they are going to have a lot of extra airplanes here tonight.”

“Right now,” said FedEx spokesperson Shea Leordeanu, “to protect the safety of all our team members we have temporarily closed facilities and stopped pick and delivery in some areas impacted by Sandy.”

As frustrating as Sandy was to travelers and shippers, there was only one thing to be done: adopt an attitude like Eboni’s.

“We’ll have to reschedule my travel in a week or two,” Eboni said, “depending on how much that area is impacted by the storm.”

Airport president Cox said the only good thing about Sandy was that there was more television coverage for the storm than he had ever seen, so people were actually aware of what was happening and either did not bother going to the airport, or weren’t surprised when they got there.

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