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Many Passengers Still Stranded At Newark Airport

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Many Air India passengers remained stranded at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday, four days after the weekend blizzard that walloped the Tri-State.

Many Air India passengers remained stranded at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday, four days after the weekend blizzard that walloped the Tri-State.

Christine Sloan thumbnail Christine Sloan
Emmy-award winning journalist Christine Sloan joined CBS 2 News in...
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NEWARK (CBS 2) – It’s been four days since the weekend blizzard, and some airline passengers still found themselves stranded on Thursday.

The problems at Newark Liberty International Airport don’t end there, though – there are also hundreds of bags that haven’t been claimed.

Passengers stranded during the blizzard spent the day looking through rows and rows of bags at Newark Liberty.

“I just found out three pieces, they decided to deliver to Philly this morning,” Bridgewater resident Gabe Halpern said.

Halpern was getting home after being stranded for three days. Many passengers at Air India chose to spend the night at the airport Wednesday, even though the airline offered them hotel rooms, “so they could be first and catch their flight,” they said.

“They said first come, first serve,” Kristin Machado said. “They made a ripple effect, so now every single flight, people are getting affected.”

Kristin Machado and her sister, Alexis, came to the airport only to be told passengers stuck in the blizzard would be given preference.

“What’s not fair is ticket holders get here on the day they’re supposed to leave, but then they get here, only to find that previous people are going to go in front of them,” Alexis Machado said.

Still, passengers who want to get home for the New Year say there have been no guarantees for anyone. They took matters into their own hands when they saw no one at the ticket counters on Thursday morning.

“We came here and we did like community work,” Manisha Gopte said. “We put up all the aisles ourselves.”

Nine-year-old Sheel Vakil started jotting down the list of people in line, in order, on paper.

“Let’s say we don’t get on our flight today again – we have proof that we were here,” Vakil said.

The one thing many passengers said they were thankful for was to still have their luggage, unlike the hundreds who were still searching for theirs.

All of the bags are from several flights that were delayed during the blizzard. In fact, workers have a whole system planned for passengers to get their luggage – they have to match their ticket numbers to their bags.

Employees at the Air India ticket counter declined to speak on the matter, and CBS 2 was unable to reach anyone at the airline’s corporate offices for comment.

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