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Travelers Stranded, Endure Long Lines As Winter Storm Prompts Flight Cancellations Across Northeast

Save Yourself The Stress And Call Ahead; Normalcy Could Return By Weekend
Travelers wait on long lines at JFK Airport following a snowstorm Jan. 3, 2014 (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Travelers wait on long lines at JFK Airport following a snowstorm Jan. 3, 2014 (Credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Passengers hoping to get to their destinations were forced to wait a while longer as flights were canceled across the region Friday following a winter storm that dumped several inches of snow across the Tri-State Area.

Flights in and out of John F. Kennedy Airport resumed earlier in the day after being suspended due to poor visibility and blowing snow. In all, 192 flights were scrapped, CBS 2′s Emily Smith reported.

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LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport remained open but cancellations piled up.

“The airlines are building up to their full schedule and they’ll probably be operating at their normal schedules sometime this afternoon,” Port Authority Interim Aviation Director Thomas Bosco told WCBS 880 around 2:30 Friday afternoon.

Bosco urged air travelers to check with their individual airlines before heading to the airport.

Getting back to full operation may not happen until the weekend, the Port Authority said Friday afternoon.

By midday Friday, about 2,200 flights were canceled nationwide, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.com.

Travelers at Newark Liberty told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck they were fed up with the long lines, confusion and lack of information from the airport and airlines.

“At the end of the lines you don’t need to be in, only to find out that your plane’s still here and you’re not on it and you can’t get on it,” said “Lisa,” of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Robert Fitzgerald told Schuck he spent the night trying get answers as his wife waited to catch her flight to Brazil.

“Easily thousands of customers waiting in line, waiting to check in and nobody to go to. For me to be in this dirty, filthy airport with, frankly, virtually no food and drink options, that’s a ripoff.”

One man landed Thursday at JFK for a layover between Amsterdam and Honduras. He spent the night on the floor of the airport.

“You just find a spot and that’s where you hang out for the night,” the traveler told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond. “By the time our airline let us know that there was no flight, there’s no hotels.”

Soldiers taking refuge from long delays napped on cots provided by LaGuardia officials. They told CBS 2′s Smith they had been trying to get back to their base in Richmond, Va., since 3 p.m. Thursday and joked they could be in trouble.

“We’re really thankful for the airport for giving us a cot to sleep in rather than sleeping on the floor, so we are appreciative of that. We’re trying just trying to get back in time,” one solider said.

Lari Teras had been waiting at LaGuardia since 5 p.m. Thursday and finally gave up.

“Yesterday, when I talked to them they said it’s going to be a couple of days before the next flight to Toronto so I just booked myself a bus ticket,” she told Smith.

Outside, crews worked to keep up with the snow, plowing roads and clearing runways.

“American Airlines has booked me on a United flight, so hopefully it’s not canceled along with the rest of them,” said traveler Chris Dodfry.

Stewart International Airport, Atlantic City International Airport and Teterboro Airport are also open.

AirTrain JFK is operating with limited service. AirTrain Newark is suspended. Bus service is being provided to both airports.

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