Harry Goldin wasn't planning a pit stop in Pennsylvania after his New York City vacation.
The Chicago resident sat in the Pittsburgh International Airport terminal Monday afternoon, slowly repacking his suitcase. One flight cancellation and $400 later, he said he's finally heading back home.
"I was supposed to fly from New York to Chicago yesterday," Goldin said. "They cancelled my flight from New York. So I drove to Pittsburgh."
A massive storm front heading in from the eastern seaboard has grounded more than 30 flights today at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The late-season Hurricane Sandy, which is now making landfall along the East Coast, threatens to sweep Western Pennsylvania with winds at speeds of 25 to 30 mph and gusts up to 60 mph in the next 24 hours.
Heavy rains could produce flooding and runoff from area rivers and streams, according to the National Weather Service in Moon.
Flights departing to and arriving from East Coast destinations such as Philadelphia, Boston and New York City have been cancelled, according to the airport.
"I'm just hoping I can be reimbursed by United (Airlines)," said Goldin, who said he was tired after his drive from New York. "I hope I didn't have to spend $400 because of a cancelled flight."
The airport advises travelers to check with airlines before arriving at the airport or visit the site http://flypittsburgh.com/airlines for updates on flights.
Despite a series of cancellations, lines at the airport remained modest through much of the afternoon.
Airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said the storm has caused little interference at Pittsburgh International.
She said 17 repositioned aircraft have landed at the airport from the East Coast and will remain on the runway through the evening.
"As long as it doesn't snow and the winds stay between 20 and 30 mph, we can still land planes," Jenny said. "We're just watching the weather right now to see what's going on. But our operations here are pretty much normal."
Jenny cautioned travelers flying out of the airport on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to arrive more than two hours ahead of their departure time.
"I would recommend that if you have a flight, you get to the airport early," Jenny said. "If the weather turns and we have a lot of cancellations, there could be lines."