Denver's snowbound airport has reopened to limited flights, chipping away at a national travel backlog, but leaving thousands of travelers in Denver and elsewhere days behind their Christmas travel schedules.
The first passenger flight -- preceded by a FedEx cargo jet -- was a Frontier Airlines jetliner that took off minutes after noon.
The departure was the first since Wednesday, when the nation's fifth-busiest airport was shut down by a storm that paralyzed Denver and much of the state.
Despite the takeoffs, airline officials weren't offering much cheer: It could take days to clear out the backlog, and some passengers might not make it home for Christmas.
More than two-thousand flights at DIA were canceled Wednesday through Friday.
That caused a ripple effect that disrupted air travel around the country just as the holiday crush began.
Many of the travelers stranded in Denver found themselves on standby early Friday, hoping to get on another flight at a time when open airline seats are scarce.
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