NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wind and wintry weather caused delays at airports across the country Saturday, as millions of Americans traveled to their holiday destinations.
AAA estimates a record 107 million Americans will celebrate the holidays away from home this year, with 6.5 million taking to the skies.
At John F. Kennedy International Airport, CBS2’s Jessica Borg found travelers hovering around the arrivals board for information that could change from hour to hour.
“Been here a while, not super fun,” said Brooklyn resident Sean Martin, whose friend’s flight from Rochester had several delays. “I knew it was going to be one hour, then I was here, then it was another hour, and then I’m here — it’s just been dragging on forever.”
“She’s finally here,” he added.
Alfred Arian’s brother-in-law’s flight from Egypt was also delayed, but he considered himself lucky.
“I was really expecting that there’s going to be a delay. I think the airplane was up there for like half an hour until they give the OK to land, that’s why,” he said. “I’m assuming there are a lot of delays here. It’s a holiday — Christmas.”
For some, the reunions were worth the wait. James Shield, of Astoria, Queens, was delighted to see his son come in from Holland.
“I’m happy to have this guy here for Christmas,” he said. “Wish everybody at home a Merry Christmas!”
Ben told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria he drove from Philadelphia to JFK pick up his son, Alex, who just finished studying in Brussels. He said he will never make the holiday trip again.
“Once you get across the Verrazano Bridge, it’s nasty,” he said. “Maybe at 3 a.m. it’s OK, but any other time it’s not fun.”
Alex, however, said getting through the airport was actually a breeze.
“I got through baggage, and security and everything — customs — in five minutes,” he said.
The father and son then hit the road to head back to Philly, joining the more than 9.7 million people traveling by car between December 12 and January 1.
Over the past 20 years, Lily says she’s spent the holidays in South Carolina. As a result, she’s become accustomed to the drive.
“Just taking it easy,” she told WCSB 880’s Kelly Waldron at a rest area along the New Jersey Turnpike. “Whenever I get there, I’ll get there.”
An already-exacerbated Ray was on his way to Atlanta from the Big Apple.
“Our plan was actually to leave a little earlier but we have a baby, a pregnant woman, and an old lady in the back so things don’t normally go as planned,” he said.
Ray said his goal was to beat the traffic in Virginia but unfortunately, he said, he’ll likely drive right into it.
The inclement weather could also mean problems for people expecting last-minute deliveries from FedEx. The company says wind created delays at its Memphis hub overnight.
If you’re expecting a package delivery, check the FedEx website or app for updates.