Busy Travel Day Snarled By Snow, Passengers Stranded

Posted Dec 27th 2010 08:31 AMUpdated Dec 27th 2010 04:57 PM


Some air passengers endured nightmare delays as a blizzard dropped up to 18 inches of snow on the Northeast and travelers tried to get home from the Christmas holiday break.

Airports shut down in Washington, Philadelphia and New York. But there were storm-caused delays and canceled flights elsewhere too as carriers moved planes around to avoid the storm.

There were reports of air passengers stranded overnight at airports and booking into airport hotels including in New York – though many people just stayed away from anticipated chaos, extending their Christmas holiday and trying to rebook flights to a later time.

In New York, cots were set up at LaGuardia Airport and there were reports of some people sleeping on empty baggage carousels.

Eric Schorr was one of the ones stranded -- but in his case on a plane. He said he sat on an El Al flight in New York from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. The plane had been scheduled to take off for Tel Aviv, got delayed, then got stuck on the tarmac as the snow came blasting down.

In Boston, one passenger told WHDH-TV, "I got in approximately 12 p.m. [Sunday] and I'm going to be here until 9:45 if not 2 o'clock [Monday]. I flew in from Rome. I was lucky enough to have (flown in) - on my way to Rome Delta lost my bags and on the way here they broke the bags I checked again. So now I'm stuck here for another - it was 19 hours when I started - so I just have a couple more hours to go."

The airlines collectively canceled more than 2,000 flights Sunday and today including from the New York airports and scrambled to rebook thousands of air passengers. They did not expect normal service to resume until at least Wednesday.

American Airlines spokesman Ed Martell tells AOL Travel News today is a "moving target" in terms of cancellations. "Our last word from Systems Operations Control [an internal dept.] is that we will cancel 236 mainline and 175 American Eagle flights today, but that could change."

He says American is also calling in more staff to help address customer needs.

"We had so many calls yesterday that we ran out of lines to answer them. We're getting more lines up and bringing more staff in," Martell says. "Tomorrow is our rebuilding day. We're hoping to see something approaching normal on Wednesday."

United canceled 175 flights today, says spokeswoman Sarah Massier. "We have extended our waiver [for rebooking without penalty] through tomorrow."

Delta Air Lines spokesman Trebor Banstetter says the carrier canceled about 700 flights systemwide, focused primarily in the Northeast.

"Customers whose flights are cancelled will be notified directly but we do encourage customers flying to or from the Northeast tomorrow to check ahead before traveling to the airport," Banstetter says.

States of emergency were declared in six states. Train and bus service came to a halt in the blizzard too.

According to the FAA, the list of airport closures/openings is as follows [Last Updated: 4:45 p.m.]:

Closed, date and time of reopening unknown:
Caldwell-Wright (Essex County, N.J.)
Tweed-New Haven (Conn.)
Morristown Municipal (N.J.)

Closed, expected to reopen today:
Long Island MacArthur, 12/27, 1.p.m.
Atlantic City, 12/27, 6 p.m.
New York John F Kennedy, 6 p.m.
Newark Liberty International, 6 p.m.
Long Island MacArthur, 5 p.m.
LaGuardia, 4 p.m.

Incoming traffic delayed due to assorted other weather (winds, low clouds):
San Francisco

(Michele McDonald contributed to this report.)

Photos, Associated Press

Filed Under: News

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Wendy Alvarez

at mspat1001:

thanks for understanding :) god bless you ^-^.

December 28 2010 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gary james

Im a very calm and patience person.And it would never have bothered me to wait for a day or many to get to where im going.I have been in this situation before.I never expect everything planed to go perfect.

December 28 2010 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony D.

Global warming it comes in cycles just as the Ice Age and the mini Ice Age. The cave man was happy to see global warming Napoleon wasn't. He lost over three quarters of his army. I bet he wished he had Global warming.At one time most of North America was under water, what happened before will happen again. Buy a boat.

December 28 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tell me, how much brain matter does it take to figure out that it is December, winter and that storms happen this time of year, in every state? Also, a state of emergency can't be declared until an emergency happens. There were alets and warnings out about the storm. Apparently most did not believe them. It does no good to blame another person for what God or Mother Nature, depending on how you believe, gives us in the form of weather. I just heard that there are now high winds on the east coast causing problems and more storms movingin as well. People need to plan better and take responsibility for their own actions.

December 28 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bundle up... It's global warming. Forgetting that there were at least 10 times CO2 in atmosphere during past "ice ages"...

Our air traffic system cannot accomodate weather problems. Too bad underground tunnel trains are so expensive. Travel in winter and spring months with lightening/tornado's/wind storms is risky for the traveller.

December 28 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Again. Local markets, Roadside stands and specialized Internet websites do not have large Commerical trucks delivering Produce to them and are not subject to Interstate Commerce and Government Regulation and hence NAFTAThese would be the stores I mentioned such as Publix in Florida. Safeway in California. Is Stater Brothers still around etc?. If an example of an adult is somebodt that doesnt know the difference between a locally operated small scale operatiom and Interstate commerce etc then it is no wonder we are is trouble. Stick to your gaming console and your place of employment where you spread the secret sauce on the burgers. A simple visit and question to one of a chain of Grocery stores would have verified it. Walmart also has a grocery chain.

December 28 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparenty soem people didnt understand my comment and accused me of being full of it so read it again. I said that produce is sold on the roadside and on the Internet. Local home grown produce are sold in local palces which would be the same as a roadside tyoe building. Commercial trucks do not deliver produce to these local markets and they are not subject to Interstate Commerce and Government regulation and hence not Nafta. I mentioned Publix in Florida. I will also mention Winn Dixie as well as Safeway in California etc. It is people that are not informed and accuse others of being full of it that are the problem and cause others like their uniformed selves to be led astray. I told people to ask the produce managers of the non local stores etc.

December 28 2010 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bloomberg messed up again. He should have declared a state of emergency hours before the storm really hit so people can get off the roads. My son left for JFK (20 min. ride) after being told the airport was open, only to find out when he got there, it was closed. $90 and 17 hours later, a limo service was able to get to JFK and bring him home.

December 28 2010 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary M

MERRY CHRISTMAS. Don't you wish you were smart like me and stayed to hell home?

December 28 2010 at 4:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Down home

kfarle: "some people travel to see their families for the holidays."

I walk two blocks to see most of mine. Others have mostly five, ten minutes up to two, three hour drives. Weddings in back yard (its big) and burials up to eight generations) at the church 400 yards up the road (or less thru the woods). Cut 15' Christmas trees down in the woods and drag them home. Why you all are sitting in airports and chasing up and down the Autobahns I'm cooking collards and drinking beer! Marry the local gals, it will save you a lot of hassle...

December 28 2010 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply