Thousands Of Canceled Flight Cause Travel Backlog


Some flights have managed to arrive and depart New York area airports crippled by the East Coast blizzard. But many travelers are still stranded and likely won't find seats until the end of the week. Nearly 7,000 flights have been canceled.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

Airports have reopened in the northeast, but the blizzard that hit the region Sunday and Monday forced thousands of flights to be canceled and left lots of travelers still stuck. Craig LeMoult, of Connecticut member station WSHU, talked to a few of them about their travails.

CRAIG LEMOULT: Kevin Didon was scheduled to take off from Bradley International Airport, north of Hartford, early Monday morning, to go visit his girlfriend in Pennsylvania. Now hes told he cant leave until Wednesday.

Mr. KEVIN DIDON: So Im going to have to just hang out at my house, my girlfriends going to get mad, but...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #1: Delayed or canceled flight? Are you on a delayed or canceled flight?

LEMOULT: A Delta Airlines employee hands out cards with instructions to a line of weary looking travelers. Hima Konurus Monday flight to Houston was cancelled and rebooked for Friday. But she says she needs to get home sooner than that.

Ms. HIMA KONURU: Actually Im expecting some guests from abroad and I have to receive them. I have to be there. Theyre counting on me.

LEMOULT: Shes standing at the check-in counter, trying to get a flight out of another airport.

Unidentified Woman #2: I have the 29th at 2:04 PM Raleigh-Durham, Houston.

Ms. KONURU: Raleigh-Durham, Houston. I think Ill take that.

LEMOULT: Konuru says shes going to drive from Hartford, Connecticut to Raleigh Durham, North Carolina to catch that flight to Houston.

Ms. KONURU: I dont have a choice. I really dont have a choice.

LEMOULT: She thinks the drive will take about 12 hours. But the storm also fouled up highways, causing some serious accidents. And crews are still working to clear the regions roads of wind-driven snow.

For NPR News, Im Craig LeMoult in Connecticut.

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