Sydney airport has been plunged into chaos after wild winds led to 100 flights being cancelled, with one couple saying passengers were “stuck like cattle”.

The travel mayhem left one Central Coast resident very upset, as she was due to make a last-minute trip to Melbourne after the shock death of her brother.

“This isn’t a holiday, my brother has passed away. I need to get home,” a visibly distressed Gail Gordan told Sky News after learning her flight had been cancelled.

“It’s just very, very upsetting.”

Ms Gordan said she would have just jumped in the car and driven had she known there would be mass cancellations.

She was eventually moved to another flight, but a day of travel chaos was the last thing she needed in such distressing circumstances.

Thirty-nine domestic flights due to depart the airport were cancelled before 7.30am after powerful winds blasted the east of NSW.

Just before 11am, more than 100 domestic flights due to land at and depart from Sydney Airport were cancelled.

Sydney airport was still down to just one operational runway as of 2.30pm due to strong westerly crosswinds, Air Services Australia said in a statement.

The single-runway situation could continue into Thursday night unless conditions improved.

Melbourne couple Nicole and Sam Stanton were on their way to Sydney to see KISS perform when they got word their plane would not be taking off.

“Got on the plane and ready to take off when we get an alert that we are not taking off for at least another hour-and-a-half,” they told the Today show on Thursday.

The pilot told the passengers they were waiting on notification from Sydney airport due to the windy weather.

“We were meant to depart around 8am,” they said.

“They made us board the plan, obviously knowing we couldn’t take off.

“So, we are sort of stuck here like cattle.”

“This decision is purely weather and safety-related to safeguard the travelling public,” they said in a statement.

The airport had been monitoring conditions on Thursday morning after damaging wind gusts of up to 90km/h were forecast to hit some coastal parts of NSW.

A Sydney airport spokesperson said a number of airlines have decided to consolidate services as a result of the weather.

“Passengers who are travelling today are advised to get in touch with their airline to check the status of their flights,” the spokesperson said.

Single runway operations are typically enacted when sustained crosswind gusts above 37km/h.

Hazardous crosswinds create significant lateral force on aircraft and make parallel runways too dangerous to use, Weatherzone reports.

Read related topics:MelbourneSydney

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