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Winter Storm Back East Continues To Wreak Havoc On Southland Travel

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A huge line of passengers stretched down the sidewalk on World Way West Saturday, as Southwest, USAirlines and other carriers struggled to adjust to flight disruptions from bad weather on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

And airlines operations managers were casting a wary on a a blizzard approaching Chicago tonight, which could deliver another paralyzing jolt to transcontinental air travel tonight.

More than 2,000 flights were cancelled nationwide Friday, most of them due to planes being held out of the storm-ravaged Chicago region and New England.

Southwest and USAirways both reported no cancellations today.

But that did not mean a lack of chaos and lines at terminals, crowded with vacationers trying to get home. “Our system is still trying to get on track from the delays in Chicago,” said Southwest spokesman Dan Lansen.

At USAirways, “for us, today is a question of how do we manage the east-west flow,” said spokesman Bill McGlashen.

CBS’ Joy Benedict spoke to frustrated, but understanding, passengers on Saturday.

Many said they found the airlines very accommodating and helpful in trying to get them on their way.

And others, like Dee Early, took long lines and other stranded passengers in stride.

“We’re from Big Bear,” Early quipped, “We’re used to this. For us, this is normal.”

Late morning, a long queue of passengers snaked out of Terminal 1. LA Airport Police tweeted an aerial photo, and urged people departing from that terminal to check ahead and arrive early.

West Coast airports remained clogged with post Rose Bowl and end-of-the- holiday travelers.

LA World Airports spokesman Marshall Lowe told City News Service that 10 arrivals and 4 departures were cancelled as of 7 a.m. Saturday at LAX, and another 12 landings or takeoffs had been delayed.

Ultimately, 10 departures, as well as 10 arrivals, were cancelled Saturday. Officials also told CBS2’s Art Barron that 378 flights arrived at LAX between the hours of 8am and 4pm on Saturday, to 400 departures.

“We’re watching another winter storm system moving into the Chicago area tonight, and that one has the chance to really have an affect on the system.” said Lansen at the Dallas-based Southwest.

 (©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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