Travelers get a dose of Mother Nature's fury at Sky Harbor

Dozens of regional flights were canceled due to concerns over equipment failure thanks to extreme heat.

PHOENIX - Airlines cancel flights all the time for a variety of reasons, but heat is a new one for many passengers at Sky Harbor Airport Tuesday.

"First time I've heard that it's too hot to fly. It's crazy," one passenger said minutes after landing in Phoenix for her first visit to the Valley. It was a "warm" welcome on one of the hottest days in Arizona history.

"It's my first time here, lucky me," said Katie Smith, who just landed from London.

Actually, she is among the lucky ones. Dozens of regional flights in and out of Sky Harbor were canceled on Tuesday. The 119-degree heat was just too much for some of the smaller commercial jets to operate. American Airlines proactively canceled 43 regional flights one day early, knowing temps were supposed to soar near 120.

For more heat coverage: 12ne.ws/heat

"I met someone from the airline who was telling me it's 120 and I thought he was lying to me," Tony Bravo said while here on a layover with his friend Laurel. The couple didn't even bother venturing outside after feeling the heat from their jet bridge.

"Off the plane and into the airport was hot enough. I can't imagine what it's like actually being outside. The only thing we felt was going through and it was intolerable."

There was a much happier group at international arrivals. Passengers on a flight from London have been dealing with a humid heat wave across the pond.

This "dry heat" had them oddly optimistic as they headed to baggage claim.

"It's very hot, but we don't have the air conditioning that you have here. So we're better off here, aren't we?" said Jackie Moulton.

Let's see how she feels when the sun comes up.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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