Hundreds of flights canceled after ice closes Sea-Tac runways

SEATAC, Wash. — Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Sea-Tac International Airport on Friday as an ice storm arrived in Western Washington and caused the closure of runways.

“At about 2 a.m. the airfield received a dump of freezing rain that quickly solidified on the surfaces,” Port of Seattle spokesperson Perry Cooper told KIRO 7 at 3:30 a.m.

At 6:57 a.m., the airport tweeted that one runway had been reopened after being deiced.

The other runways remain closed indefinitely until the airport tweeted just after 3:30 p.m. that a second runway had been reopened.

Alaska Airlines announced over the loudspeaker throughout the evening that most flights are canceled, rebooking would be possible in the next couple of days, and for anyone with a canceled flight who lives in the greater Seattle area to “go home.”

“You’re better off actually trying to rebook and go online with their systems, online rather than be at the counters,” said Cooper. “If you live here, go back home and try to do it online.”

“Since midnight, we’ve canceled more than 270 flights scheduled to operate in Portland and Seattle and additional cancellations and delays are expected. Due to very full flights over the next several days, it is likely to take multiple days to accommodate guests who need new flights. Our contact centers are experiencing long hold times as they try to help thousands of guests, and we’re working around the clock to reunite guests with their bags. We strongly encourage guests to reassess their travel plans due to limited availability,” the airline said in a post.

Meanwhile, as of 1:06 p.m., FlightAware showed that 554 flights were canceled and 212 were delayed.

Some airlines pre-canceled flights ahead of the storm.