Reporting Glenn Schuck
NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – With the blizzard starting to deposit snow in the Tri-State Area, numerous flights out of Newark Liberty Airport were cancelled, adding headaches and confusions to the hundreds of travelers lined up to fly out.
By 4 a.m. on Sunday, Continental had cancelled 220 flights around the Northeast, and many travelers were left in limbo waiting to hear if their specific flights had been cancelled.
In total, close to 1,000 flights have been cancelled because of the massive storm making its way into the area.
American Airlines told WCBS 880 Sunday that all flights from JFK, Newark and LaGuardia through at least 10 a.m. Monday were cancelled. The cancellations also include airports in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore.
“My husband has the Blackberry updated on his phone every five minutes. He’s been checking. We’ve been up all night checking,” said New Jersey resident Danielle Price, whose flight to Disneyland had not been cancelled.
Price and her family waited an hour just to check luggage.
“They said they’re dealing with a lot of people that are very, very upset, but what are you going to do,” she said.
United, meanwhile, has canceled 61 departures from Newark, LaGuardia and JFK.
One passenger said he dodged a bullet by coming home to New Jersey on Christmas day.
“It’s always easier to fly back on Christmas. We usually do New Year’s. Less congestion at the airport, you had no delays, everything went well [and] everything went great,” Bill Galik said.
Some travelers were lucky enough to escape in the calm before the storm.
Carol Katz, of Brooklyn, left for Aruba on time and expected the usual airport nightmare.
“This is like every year, but you know what? You pay the price, but you enjoy the vacation,” she said, adding that her son-in-law was hopefully going to be able to flight on Monday.
Some families were a little more optimistic.
Joe, Bobby and their family from Bergen County said they were positive their flight to the Dominican Republic was leaving, but that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if the flight got delayed.
“I was a little disappointed because I was planning on having a little party here in Jersey. If we get a hotel room, we’ll start the party here before we go there,” one family member said, who also wanted to stick around to watch the Jets game.
Due to the expected snow, six airlines—American, Delta, Jet Blue, Continental, United and US Airways—are all waiving change fees for passengers traveling throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region.