December 29th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

Damage from blizzard lingers in the Northeast


A historic blizzard that blanketed the Northeast with several feet of snow was still causing heartburn for pilots, air traffic controllers and stranded passengers Wednesday.

Some 10,000 flights have been canceled because of the weather since Saturday, according to the airlines.

Representatives from AirTran, American, Continental, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United, U.S. Airways, Spirit and Southwest reported a total of at least 9,726 trips were called off due to weather since Saturday.

Of those, at least 1,335 flights were canceled on Tuesday as major airports across the region slowly got back to normal.

Nowhere is the traveling heartburn more pronounced than at John F. Kennedy airport in New York where passengers on international flights have had to wait up to 11 hours on the tarmac before being allowed to deplane.

At least a handful of flights sat in the cold of a New York night early Wednesday, waiting for a gate and permission to unload. Passengers on at least three flights - Aero Mexico, Air France and Lufthansa - waited more than six hours to get off their planes.

The wait was even longer for a Korean Air flight from Seoul, which arrived at about 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, but did not arrive at the gate until about 5 a.m. Wednesday, more than nine hours later.

However, other international flights arrived without delay.

Passengers told CNN that a Transaero flight from Moscow to New York had no delay before reaching the gate, and two Avianca flights from Cali and Bogota reported no issues.

"We did contact the airlines and have been telling them they must not leave their point of origin without being assured of a gate," Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said. "Apparently, it didn't help."

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dietrich Schmidt

    I was one of those being trapped in an airline for seven hours, only feet away from the terminal.
    Any major airport in the world will deplane passengers by steps and transport them to the terminal using busses when such a situation occurs. The Port Authority of New York is just completely incompetent, they have no flexibility at all to handle a situation like this using common sense.

    December 30, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  2. Frances

    A Thank You Note:

    I want to thank the "greatest city in the world" for the worst vacation ever! I want to thank Broadway for not canceling shows because of course the show must go own. All they care about is money and not the well being of people. I want to thank the MTA for leaving people stranded in the middle blizzard with no where to go, thanks for the fare rises as well! I want to thank the mayor for wanting to save money, raising taxes, and not plowing the streets! Last but not least, this taxpayer wants to thank you for a night that I will never forget. I tried to get home from 11:00 pm Sunday night finally arriving at my home Monday at 1:30 pm freezing cold and sick.



    December 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  3. John Moore - PA

    We continue to hear that the international arrivals problem was due to a lack of open gates. Surely that is not the reason, passengers can still be deplaned by steps. If anyting it may be a lack of secure holding areas or a lack of common sense flexibility in how to handle arrivals but at least let us get the story straight. No one has yet come up with a good reason why food and water cannot be supplied to these planes, surely that is possible in our modern society?

    December 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Kim

    Wait until you see the blizzard of American citizens and then those across the world taking up for Chris Liu. Brace for impact and heads up ! Rocky theme song and Think by Aretha ! Fix the security concerns pointed out TSA and no gestapo retalitory measures needed.The doors,gates and other access points are not manned by TSA and respecting ground crews pass security checks but you're no better than the rest of us getting scanned,grobed and x-rayed.See the lost and found security department and how many of those pass cards have been lost this year that give access with just a swipe and out to the tarmac ya go ? Oh come on and the media has seen all this before and talked about it and so have thousands of other citizens.TSA calls this the release of sensitive information because it's on U-tube ? It's pretty clear and obvious isn't it that these are common sense areas of security to address that have been addressed for years by more people than just Chris Liu and especially after millions spent on security. "If you see it then say it." Janet Napolitano. Okay millions see it and when does it get fixed at airports and please don't send marshals to American citizens homes that are critical and point out areas of Airport Security concern.Good American citizens trying to enjoy travel don't want to made to feel they're a terrorist.Get the govt. out of the travel industy and hire private security for airports and this is a mess. Don't punish good guys for telling the truth and Chris Liu stated what the media and others already have and why hasn't this area pointed out of reference by Mr. Liu already been handled bu Homeland Security ? How is the communication between the office of Homeland Security and TSA to airport general manager's ? Is there a breakdown of communication on the implement of security policy and management in need support ?

    December 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm |