Think It’s Bad Flying Out Of NYC? Try Flying In

Tri-State Airport Nightmare Impacting Travel Across Country

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) — At LaGuardia Airport it’s not exactly smooth flying. Flights are operating, but there’s still plenty of frustration.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond on people stranded on the tarmac

One family has spent more than 30 hours sleeping on cots and their wait may not be over. They’re trying to make it home to Toronto.

“We’re booked tomorrow at 6:40 a.m. I just want to get out of here because we haven’t any more clean clothes to change and we don’t have any more money,” a family member said.

Thousands of passengers have been stranded at airports up and down the East Coast. More than 5,000 flights were cancelled at New York’s three major airports.

The blizzard crippled area airports, and they’re still trying to get back to normal. It’s had a ripple affect all across the country, including Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport where CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez has been trying to fly out of since Sunday.

The departure boards at O’Hare looked good Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean good things for everybody still scrambling to get to their East Coast destinations.

“It’s very upsetting. I think we’re going to be here for a couple days,” said Upper East Side resident John Flannery.

Flanney told Sanchez he’s been stuck at O’Hare since Sunday. He has a brother flying in from England on Tuesday and tickets to see Prince at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, but he can’t get a flight home.

“It’s very frustrating because I haven’t seen my brother in five years, and I haven’t seen Prince for like 15 years, so I just want to get home. I have a cat at home and I have to arrange to have people feed my cat. It’s a bit of a nightmare,” Flannery said.

An army of ticket agents have been working feverishly to get passengers off the ground, but they haven’t been able to people trying to get to New York for the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

“Found a hotel last night, came back this morning and no flights until the second of January — and our flight back home is the second of January,” English tourist Zoe Lundy said.

Elizabeth Maher has an important date in New York. She’s said she is eloping with her fiancé. Her flight Monday was cancelled.

“Now I have a flight to Washington DC tomorrow at 4:40,” Maher said, adding when asked how she would ultimately get to New York, “I don’t know, but I will find a way.”

Charlyn Kennedy of Bloomfield, N.J., was supposed to fly to Newark in time see Cirque du Soleil on Tuesday night, a surprise gift from her daughter, but she’s stuck in Chicago until Friday.

“I was anticipating. When they said it happened I was expecting it because it’s like, ok, the snow stopped, we can get back. It doesn’t work that way in New York City. Everything is magnified. The good is magnified and the bad is magnified,” Kennedy said.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Georgia Hensley

    Hey John , I hope u got home ok, hows Liam the cat? We love and miss yoiu iot was great seeing you on the telly!
    Georgia It sure took you a long time to get home, we all felt so bad for you two. Glad your brother made it to NYC safe and sound..

  • lisa

    its a sad day to see sanitation workers collecting double time and a half on tax payer dollars when they sit and laughed at the “White gold” and did nothing until hours later. i saw sanitation workers betting numbers and laughing while the snow was piling up in queens. someone needs to take videos of their shenanigans.

    serious. they are ny’s strongest?. they were on duty. they are sanitation. did they nred the mayor to hold their hands?

    people nerd to do something about the sanitation corruption. help us all and our tax dollars.

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