Bay Area flights to East Coast delayed

Departure flights from Bay Area airports to destinations on the East Coast could be delayed today because of high winds, rain, and snow, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Departures from Oakland International, San Francisco International, and Mineta San Jose International airports flying into Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C., Newark International Airport in New Jersey, and John F. Kennedy International and La Guardia airports in New York are being delayed about two hours because of weather conditions.

Winds up to 40 mph and rain in the New York area as well as rain mixed with snow and high winds farther north are creating the delays, National Weather Service forecaster Steve Anderson said today.

Some flights scheduled for arrival at SFO are also being delayedbecause of a low fog ceiling and high winds around the airport, Gregor said. Fog and wind are expected to return today, so some traffic arriving at SFO is being delayed up to two hours, Gregor said.

“Because of the wind direction, we have had to depart and land in a certain configuration that is not the most optimal,” Gregor said of SFO.

FAA-imposed delays due to weather require that airports comply and push departure times back, he said. Some flights have the option of remaining grounded or taking delays in the air, he said.

Travelers planning on going east today from all Bay Area airports are encouraged to check with individual airlines for updated departure times, according to officials.

“Call the toll free number or check the Web site before heading to the airport,” Oakland International Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said.

SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said that individual airlines that fly to the affected airports will have more accurate arrival and departure times than the airports have.

A live airport map that includes information on the destinations that are being affected by delays is available on the FAA Web site at www.fly.faa.gov.

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