Winter weather delays, cancels flights at Sky Harbor

More than 100 flights were canceled in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor between Wednesday and Thursday.

PHOENIX — Amid people walking to their gates, checking the screens for their flight information, and families saying goodbye, Reginald and Dee Dee Carter sat against the wall in Terminal 4 of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

“I love the sun,” said Dee Dee Carter. “Every day – beautiful.”

The couple, married for 11 years, came for a few days to visit the state of Grand Canyon. They are quick to tell you that Arizona has much better weather than back home.

“Right now I heard it’s snowing,” Dee Dee Carter said.

The couple currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee. They were supposed to leave on Thursday afternoon to go back, but Mother Nature intervened.

“They don’t want to risk going back through Texas because of the bad weather, the ice and the snow,” said Reginald Carter.

They were supposed to fly through Dallas-Fort Worth, but the winter storm sweeping across the country from Texas to the East Coast means they’ll have to wait until Thursday night for a direct flight back.

More than 100 flights were canceled in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor between Wednesday and Thursday.

Among those waiting to leave Arizona were Poliana Tan and Eduardo Maya. The couple goes to Key West for a few days, but transfers in Dallas.

“They canceled the morning flights, now we have to go to the afternoon flight and it has been delayed,” Tan said.

They were supposed to arrive in Key West around mid-afternoon, but won’t make it until midnight. Still, they wonder how their friend who comes to them from California is doing.

“He’s in San Diego now to get on an earlier flight, but who knows,” Maya said.

“Maybe he won’t make it,” Tan said.

As they head to security for their delayed afternoon flight, the couple hopes that what they’ll be traveling through will still mean sunny days on the other side.

“It’s better than what everyone else is going through across the country,” Maya said.

While the Carters waited all day for their flight, Dee Dee Carter said she would read, do crosswords, and chat with her husband. When they get back, it’s about getting them ready for a much longer stay in Arizona.

“We’re going home to pack—that’s part two,” Dee Dee Carter said. “The next step: packing.”

“We plan to move here in the future,” Reginald Carter said.

The couple said they spent their few days here traveling through the valley to see the sights, stopping to eat, shop and explore.

“We always wanted to come to Arizona, so since we both had the time to come and visit, we did, and we were like, ‘We need to move here,’” said Dee Dee Carter. “It’s just beautiful the people are so warm and friendly.

Hoping that Arizona will bring new opportunities for them as Dee Dee Carter said she is a personal trainer and life coach.

“I’m looking to expand my career,” Dee Dee Carter said.

For now, they wait off the plane and brave the snow until Arizona welcomes them to a permanent home.

“Looking forward to coming back,” said Reginald Carter.

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