Timing is everything for travel in and out of Mid-Michigan - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Timing is everything for travel in and out of Mid-Michigan

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(01/07/14) - Was it a fortunate roll of the dice? Or just good planning?

Whatever the reason, Flint's Bishop International Airport has turned into a gateway for lucky folks escaping Old Man Winter's icy grip. For others, it signals the end of their "fun in the sun".

There were plenty of smiles from folks heading for the departure gates. But for those making their way back home, the sub-zero temperatures are more like a cruel joke.

It's not too surprising to hear that the sunshine state is a popular destination for passengers waiting to board at Bishop Airport. Travelers were looking forward to escaping what has been a one-two punch from Mother Nature. "Cold weather. Get out of the cold weather. (We're heading to) Fort Myers," said Moni Akbar.

Debra Nash was in line to check in too. She had a rough drive in from Onaway. "We're flying out to Florida to see my mom and other two sisters," she said.

Karen Childs was excited to leave, even if it was a day later than she would have liked. "It was my birthday yesterday, and yesterday was awful. So, today is great. Happy to be out of this cold."

Heading west was fine, too. Former Mid-Michigan resident Dave Draize couldn't wait to return home to sunny San Diego.

"Well, every day here kind of reminds me of why I left. Everything from having to wear gloves and a hat again to scraping my car and taking 20 minutes to drive 30 feet and getting stuck in my own driveway," he said.

For others, the return to Mid-Michigan couldn't have come at a worse time. Richard Flanders just moved to the Flint area a year ago. The Florida native was visiting his former stomping grounds, but arrived just in time for the worst cold snap in 20 years. "My wife is here so I had to come, and the kids. I had no choice."

Cindy Dwyer, while not returning herself, brought cold weather gear for her passenger. " I'm picking up my son's girlfriend. She's coming in from Orlando, Florida."

Another traveler just got back from South America. It was 84 degrees when he left. "It's really an issue when you don't have any more clean long jeans and find out you're walking into negative 10 or 11 weather," said Amir Baz, a student at the University of Michigan-Flint.

So much for preserving those warm vacation memories, even if the frigid air starts to retreat as expected, beginning Wednesday.

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