Flight delays rose to by 30 minutes to two-and-a-half hours at Denver International Airport Sunday afternoon as the city's biggest snowstorm of the winter also cancelled 200 flights.
DIA's terminals were littered with travelers lingering in the food court, napping in secluded floor space or catching up on work.
Zoey Maddox, 22, might have found the best piece of real estate while waiting on standby for a midnight flight back home to Jacksonville, Fla.
The quiet tranquility of DIA's Interfaith Chapel was a sharp contrast with the noisy, busy terminal just beyond its door, and it served as a refuge for Maddox, 22, and her boyfriend, Percy Williamson, 27, after their 10:15 a.m. flight was cancelled.
The Federal Aviation Authority was reporting delays of two hours and 32 minutes for flights as a result of the storm,which could bring up to 12 inches in parts of the Denver metro area.
About 500 DIA employees were busy operating 260 pieces of snow-removal equipment to keep operations running as smoothly as possible, according to DIA spokeswoman Laura Coale.
The airport began preparing for the storm Saturday by testing equipment, topping off fluids and coordinating snow-removal teams, Coale said.
"We were still anticipating delays for a number of reasons," Coale said. "Deicing adds 20-30 minutes of wait for each flight, and the FAA is allowing flights additional time to reach their location."
Coale said that travelers are encouraged to allow additional travel time to the airport and can check the status of their flight at flydenver.com.
Southwest Airlines chose to pre-cancel many of its flights arriving to or departing from Denver late Saturday, citing safety as a major concern.
"Not only did we decide to pre-cancel flights to avoid angry customers, but for their safety and the safety of our employees," Olga Romero, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, wrote in an email.
"SWA's priority is safety and as we evaluated the forecast, our operations team determined that the risk was far too great to operate today," Romero said.
Flight cancellations also caused problems for DIA's baggage service.
Noble Kendrick, 40, of Aurora, and Cody Dill, 27, of Firestone, arrived at DIA early Sunday morning for their flight to Moline, Ill. for a business trip.
Their 9:23 a.m. flight was cancelled after two delays, and they are now waiting for their bags to be returned from United Airlines baggage service.
"We went to the counter and asked (about the bags). She said it could be like 7 p.m., maybe 7:30 p.m," Kendrick said. "Second thing we were told, it could be up to 12:30 a.m. All of our stuff is in there: our work boots, our badge, our lockouts/tagouts, five pairs of clothes on top of the five pair of uniforms we have in there."
The two factory workers were told their luggage will be shipped to its original destination, Moline, Ill., if they aren't present at DIA when their bags are retrieved.
Ross Daly, 33, and Hailey Broderick, 30, were on their way to Sun Valley, Id. from Boston, when their connecting flight from Denver on Southwest Airlines from was cancelled.
They are scheduled for a 10 p.m. flight to Boise, Id., but were informed that their snowboards were lost.
"Everyone we've talked to from Southwest has been really nice. The weather made their job (difficult). There's only so much they can do," Daly said.
"We can't even check our bags until four hours before departure, so we're going to sit here outside of security and drink coffee," Daly added.