MISSOULA, Mont. - It's been a busy air travel day at Montana airports. Travelers squeezing the most they can out of a long holiday are heading back home. But for air travelers heading east it could be a game of chance getting there on time.
Eric Taber was wrapping up his Christmas vacation in Missoula, and catching a flight to Denver. He lives and works in Pittsburgh, and from Denver, he will head east, into a deep freeze.
"I've heard that the weather is bad," said Taber, "and I'm lucky I've had an extra day built into my trip. I didn't have to go back to work until Sunday, so if I get delayed I'm not too worried."
Ann and Tim Hoaglin spent vacation in Missoula. Before getting on the Denver flight they checked the weather back home.
"It's been nice to be in balmy Missoula before we hit Ohio," said Ann.
Ken Wall delivered his daughter and her husband to the airport for a flight to San Diego. That's easy. Another daughter left Missoula for her home in New York before the storms hit.
"They're at Rockaway Beach in New York and they were shoveling 10 inches of snow off their bungalow," said Wall.
Missoula's unseasonably nice January weather has made travel through Missoula pretty smooth. But Boston or Newark could be a little dicey.
"Certainly flights are leaving Missoula for the most part on time as scheduled," said Airport Director Cris Jensen. "I can't promise you that if you're going to Newark as an example, that you might not have an issue when you get to Denver or Minneapolis or Salt Lake."