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Flying at DFW or Love Field tomorrow? Here’s what to expect

Airlines are already offering alternatives as rough weather approaches.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019, file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet flies over Mesa, Ariz., en route to Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. Pilot-union leaders at Southwest Airlines say it could be February or March 2020 before their airline resumes flights using the Boeing 737 Max. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

People flying in and out of North Texas on Wednesday could have their travel plans disrupted as winter weather approaches the area.

As a cold front moves into North Texas on Tuesday, temperatures are dropping into the mid to the upper 40s. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing early Wednesday morning, said Monique Sellers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

That temperature drop coupled with precipitation that's expected after midnight could cause headaches for travelers looking to fly in and out of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field on Wednesday.

Related: These are the most dangerous Texas cities to drive in

Local airlines are preparing for potential schedule disruptions accordingly.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) included Love Field in a travel advisory, saying customers flying in or out of Dallas on Wednesday can rebook their flight within 14 days of the travel date without any additional charges. Southwest operates more than 90 percent of Love Field flights.

Similarly, American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) is waiving change fees for customers flying in and out of DFW Airport on Wednesday if they can rebook their flight between Feb. 4 and Feb. 8. American operates more than 80 percent of DFW Airport flights.

"We are expecting mainly sleet with very little accumulations that will impact the Dallas area," Sellers said.

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What's the difference between sleet and freezing rain? Sleet is when ice pellets fall from the sky, while freezing rain is when it rains and the temperature is below freezing, Sellers said.

"The worst part of it" will hit before noon on Wednesday, she added.

Precipitation could persist into Wednesday afternoon and evening, but precipitation amounts are expected to lessen as the day goes on, Sellers said.

Wintery precipitation like snow, sleet, and freezing rain affects airport operations, and local officials are preparing for the storm's impact.

A DFW Airport spokesperson said it's advising customers to check the status of their flight and allow for ample time in transit to and from the airport.

At Love Field, airport staff are tasked with treating and clearing runways, taxiways, pedestrian walk paths, parking garages and Herb Kelleher Way from Mockingbird into the airport, said an airport spokesperson. Airlines are tasked with de-icing planes and deciding whether to cancel or delay flights.

"Our standard plan is to increase staff and have others on standby if weather occurs," said Chris Perry, airport spokesperson. "Many of our groups are 24/7 anyhow, so we'll have staff around."

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