Snowstorm forces hundreds of flight cancellations at Denver International Airport

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DENVER -- A snowstorm forced hundreds of flight cancellations and delays at Denver International Airport on Saturday, impacting many travelers' holiday plans.

Airlines canceled about 400 flights, about 26 percent of the daily schedule. Winter weather on the East Coast also caused delays for some flights.

The airport reported 9 inches of snow accumulation by 1 p.m., an additional 5 inches from what was initially expected.

The cancellations caused some confusion and frustration at some individual airlines as people waited inside the crowded airport.

Despite the heavy snow, the airport's snow removal teams worked to keep the runways and associated airfield surfaces clear.

The airlines, which manage their own deicing operations through contractors, were in full deicing mode so passengers should expect to spend a little extra time on the aircraft before departure.

The average deicing time is approximately 16 minutes, but can vary based on the type of aircraft.

Passengers were encouraged to monitor their flight status with their airline directly. 

The Federal Aviation Administration allowed a normal flight schedule for planes heading to Denver to resume late Saturday afternoon.

Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said that should allow airlines to catch up on their schedules during the rest of the day.