How the Heat Can Impact Flights

SACRAMENTO -- It's another day of triple-digit temperatures across Northern California.

It's hot enough to keep most people indoors, but at Sacramento International Airport, it's not hot enough to ground flights.

"Today I'm leaving Sacramento to go to Atlanta, and I'm going to connect in Phoenix," traveler Nancy Trivett said.

Trivett is keeping a close eye on the weather in Phoenix, hoping her connecting flight won't be canceled.

The National Weather Service forecasts Phoenix could reach a scorching 120 degrees on Tuesday. When the mercury climbs that high, over 118 degrees to be exact, it's harder for smaller airplanes to take off.

So far, American Airlines is the only carrier to cancel dozens of flights out of Sky Harbor Airport -- Tuesday alone.

Lucky for Trivett, she's flying with Southwest Airlines.

"I'm not worried about it because I'm sure Southwest will do the right thing, and if it's not safe to land then I'm not going to go anywhere today," Trivett said.

"We really don't see those kind of problems at Sacramento International Airport, but anything is possible," said Laurie Slothower with the Sacramento International Airport.

Slothower says so far the heat isn't keeping planes from taking off.

"But in a situation like this, there is always the possibility that even if yours isn't impacted, flights connected to your flight, flights that came before you would," Slothower said.

She recommends that travelers call ahead and check with their airline, pack patience and hope for cooler days ahead.