Columbia airport cancellations

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COLUMBIA - All departures from Columbia Regional Airport were cancelled Sunday due to icy conditions. Just two arrivals, both flights coming out of Chicago, are still on schedule as of 3 p.m.

United and American Airlines agents said the cancellations happened because planes can't land or takeoff safely due to the ice on the airport's runway.

Charles Tutt of Columbia, who has been flying for over 25 years, said his flight to Dallas was cancelled twice in one weekend. Despite the cancellations, he said he had a positive experience at Columbia's airport.  

"First of all, I like the small, friendly atmosphere here," Tutt said. "Secondly, it's so nice to park within walking distance to the terminal and especially that the parking is free too."

Tutt said American Airline agents at Columbia Regional Airport were swift in rebooking his flight after both cancellations. 

Jeff Nellson, who is from the Chicago area, flew to Columbia to attend a work function in the state for his paintless dent repair company. He said he doesn't fly much, yet this was the first time one of his flights got cancelled.

"I'm kinda glad it's a smaller airport, so I don't have to go through a ton of people to figure out if it's actually cancelled," Nellson said. "They were able to tell me right away, now I know what to do instead of waiting for hours."

Nellson said he's renting a car and making the 6-hour-drive home today instead of spending another night in Columbia. 

Conrad Bilgrien is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and he came to Columbia to visit his daughter who attends MU. He said he was disappointed when he heard his flight was cancelled. 

"I need to be at work tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and I'm not going to make it," he said. Bilgrien has been in town since Wednesday. He said Columbia airport is fine and easy to get in and out of. His main issue with the cancellation was United Airlines' mobile app.

"Even though I'm set up to get automatic notifications, I was never notified the flight was actually cancelled," he said. "I just happened to look at it, and it said it's cancelled, so that's a little frustrating. United needs to do a better job there."

Flight agents at both American Airlines and United Airlines said they'll know the status of the arrivals from Chicago around 7 p.m., which is about two hours before the United flight arrives, and two and a half hours before the American flight arrives.