ORLANDO - INTRODUCTION (4:29 p.m. Tuesday)
Hello everyone, from sunny Orlando, Fla. It's 79 degrees here today -- just beautiful!
Sadly, I've been here to visit my father who is very sick and in the hospital. But after a 4-day visit, I'm scheduled to fly home tonight. I leave Orlando at 4:40 p.m. then layover in Atlanta until 7:20, finally getting to CLE at 9:15 p.m.
I'm on my way to Orlando International Airport now. Stay tuned to see how my trip home progresses.
UPDATE @ 12:20 p.m. Wednesday
I'm leaving the airport via the RTA rapid transit now. It's my first real contact with this storm.
I must say it has been nice being in Orlando since early this past Saturday. The temperature there was forecast to be over 80 today.
Brrrrrrr -- it sure looks cold and blustery from this train as we approach the Puritas station.
As I came through the airport things were pretty calm -- no big crowds. The lady at the information booth said about 30 flights remain cancelled for this afternoon. Check with your airline if you are flying out.
Ok, I'm approaching the Ohio City rapid stop -- just a short walk from here. Wish I had a heavier coat on. Oh well, I've made it home.
See you all on NewsChannel5 later today. Stay safe and warm. Be careful out in this weather. Thanks for following along with my travel home.
UPDATE @ 11:46 a.m. Wednesday
It's bright and sunny above Cleveland. I may even have gotten a sunburn in my window seat on the flight in from Atlanta.
But as I gazed out across the solid cloud deck, the pilot announced the temperature below was a 'balmy' 27 degrees with winds of 21 mph.
Minutes later we are on the ground, after a somewhat turbulent descent through the thick cloud ceiling.
The runway looks icy. A good job by the pilot to get us down and stopped safely. Snow removal equipment is scattered around the taxiway and arrival gate. The ground crews look chilled to the bone.
Ahhhh... to be home in Cleveland... in winter.
Now I have to get the rest of the way home. Looks like I'll ride the RTA rapid since no one is able to pick me up due to work.
Now I'm heading for the train.
UPDATE @ 9:15 a.m. Wednesday
20 cancelled flights. That's what I see on the Delta flight information monitors at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Cancellations include: Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Albany, and Boston. But honestly, with over 300 Delta flights scheduled out of Atlanta today, that doesn't seem too bad.
Thankfully, things are going smoothly for me -- and others going to Northeast Ohio airports. The flights listed to both CLE and CAK (Canton-Akron) are shown as 'on time'.
Now I'm heading for the gate to catch the connecting flight into Cleveland (Delta #3526). Hopefully I can get home around 1 p.m. -- and into work at NewsChannel5 shortly after that.
UPDATE @ 7:12 a.m. Wednesday
I just got into my seat on Delta flight 1618 to Atlanta.
No major problems to report at MCO (Orlando airport).
On the way to my boarding gate I did notice a few cancellations -- but not bad, all things considered.
The real question for me will be the connection to CLE in Atlanta.
UPDATE @ 6:15 a.m. Wednesday
Good morning Cleveland from Orlando where it is currently 66 degrees with light breezes.
The local morning newscasts here continue to feature the Midwest storm as the big story of the day.
I can hardly believe it, but according to the Delta Airlines flight status web page, my flights this morning are on time.
So I'm heading to the airport now to start he first leg of my trip -- a 7:30 a.m. flight from Orlando to Atlanta.
UPDATE @ 11:23 p.m. Tuesday:
I just watched the local late evening news here in Orlando, FL. The midwest winter storm is the big story -- even though it's a gorgeous mid-60's night here.
According to WFTV, the ABC network affiliate here, over 200 flights out of Orlando were cancelled today because of the big storm.
Of course, I could not get home to CLE today and my Delta Airlines flights were rebooked for Wednesday morning. As of 11 p.m., the Delta website says they are on time but that could change.
One thing is for sure, I won't be reporting to work at 11 a.m. as I am scheduled to be. I did call and tell the news desk and e-mail the bosses.
Stay tuned for more travel reports as I try to get home to Cleveland.
UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m. Tuesday:
There are planes flying in and out of Orlando, Fla. But this reporter will not be on any of them.
On my way to the airport, while checking the Delta Airlines website, I discovered the Atlanta to Cleveland portion of my trip (Delta flight 3526) had been canceled.
However, after being on hold with Delta customer service for 30 minutes, I was pleased to find out that Delta had
re-booked me for the same travel on Wednesday -- starting at 7:30 a.m.
So for now, I will return to my dad's bedside, spend another night in balmy Orlando and keep checking my flight status for tomorrow.
Be safe everyone. I'm in Orlando thinking about you.
Keep checking for updates on Ted's travels.