Detroit Metro Airport credits airlines' communication with travelers for less crowds during Sandy

Detroit Metro Airport spokesman says instant communication with travelers has kept everyone informed about cancellations, delays before arriving

ROMULUS, Mich. - Instant communication from airlines to travelers' phones and electronic devices is getting credit for easing the travel nightmares which follow a storm such as Sandy.

Many travelers at Detroit Metro Airport have been frustrated and anxious about cancelled flights due to the bad weather. However, they know better than to crowd the airport.

Mike Conway, Detroit Metro's director of public affairs, said airlines have become adept with using instant communication to keep customers well-informed and aware of what's going on at the airport before they arrive.

"Everyone has a personal electronic communication device and the airlines can stay in touch and say, your flight to La Guardia is canceled. We've rebooked you here ... click this if you agree," Conway said as he explained how it works.

The communication is probably why most east coast travelers have stayed home or in their hotel room.

"It's 1:28 in the afternoon and these departure schedules don't feature any cancellations, until you get to New York and Newark, N.J. -- 1,2,3,4,5,6 afternoon flights canceled," Conway said.

The 1/2-empty tarmac at Detroit Metro showed more flights were getting out of the Detroit area on Tuesday. After two days, a prayer group from Canada is heading home.

"We prayed and believed that we would receive and we did. So, we're now all on the same flight and we're leaving today."

Conway said travelers should keep an eye on public transportation in New York such as the trains and subways. Until those reopen, many airport workers will have trouble getting to the nearby airports. The airports can't open without the workers, of course.

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