SAN ANTONIO -

Wintry weather across the country grounded thousands of commercial flights Tuesday, and left passengers cooling their heels in airport terminals, including in San Antonio.

As of about 9 a.m., 15 flights scheduled to depart from San Antonio International Airport to cities such as Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago, had been cancelled.

Four arriving flights also were cancelled.

Julia Jarrell, who organized a trip for 24 high school students from other countries, found out their departure would be delayed only after arriving at the airport.

“Because of the bad weather, we made the decision that everybody should get here, " she said as she gathered the group together.

The students, from South America and the Dominican Republic, had just wrapped up a week in San Antonio learning about life in the United States.

Thanks to the flight cancellations, they also learned a lesson about waiting.

"Even though we may have spent a little time in the airport, we intend to make sure their last memories of San Antonio are happy ones," said Jarrell. “They've got tablets and books and all kinds of projects (to keep them busy)."

Others passed the time by reading books or doing crossword puzzles.

Lou Copertino made the most of his down time by catching up on phone calls.

He was headed home to New York, where the weather, surprisingly, wasn’t as troubling as what he found in the Alamo City.

"The north is fine, although it's very cold,” Copertino said. “And here we are in Texas. I thought it would be beautiful."

In a day or two, that may be the case.

San Antonio’s weather is known to change on a dime.

In the meantime, though, passengers tried their best to keep their cool on a day when ice and cold interfered with their travel plans.

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