By Joan Murray

MIAMI – (CBS4) – Storm conditions in the Northeast have begun to ease leaving weary, stranded travelers hopeful that they may reach their destinations sooner than expected.

By Tuesday morning, the number of delayed and canceled flights in South Florida had begun to decrease. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reported 14 departure cancellations and 14 arrival cancellations. At Miami International Airport, 10 arriving flights had been canceled and only four departing flights.

For passengers like the Ginter’s who did manage to make it out, it was quite a relief.

“It feels good,” Bill Ginter said. “It feels good to be going home.”

The Ginters had been on a cruised that had returned to Port Everglades as the snowstorm was ravaging the northeast.

CBS4’s Joan Murray spoke to a representative from Princess Cruise Lines that was waiting for passengers to arrive for a departing cruise ship Tuesday afternoon. Many of those passengers who were due at FLL Tuesday morning won’t make it due to the canceled flights, but the ship won’t wait for them.

Once they do make it into Ft. Lauderdale passengers will have to catch a flight and pick up the cruise at one of their ports of call.

“It’s a headache. Some people aren’t getting out or in,” said Lila Yorra of Princess Cruises. “We have some people who came in on a Princess cruise and are now sleeping upstairs.”

American Airlines customer service manager Michael Hurley warns that clearing the weather related travel backlog might take days. He said, “Our first available seat to book (confirmed booking), we are up to January 3rd. Right now it is standby only.”

Travelers are urged to contact the airline before heading out to make sure their flight is still scheduled to depart on time.

Most carriers are waiving the fees they normally charge for one-time changes in affected areas. They’re urging passengers to make changes through their websites.


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