Travel Troubles Ease Slightly As JetBlue Resumes Flights
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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – There’s some good news for travelers stuck in South Florida after JetBlue stopped all scheduled flights on Monday to JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Logan Airports.
The air carrier said Tuesday morning it planned to resume some flights and was expected to return to full operation by mid-afternoon.
At Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, some flights are leaving but the lines remain long for travelers.
“Things are improving but all these air carriers that have been impacted have done so for safety reasons and because airports have been closed,” said airport spokesman Greg Meyer.
Some passengers at the airport Tuesday morning have been stranded for days due to the weather delays and now they’re just trying to squeeze onto a flight.
Sade Jammot has been trying to get out on JetBlue since Sunday.
“And they kept saying they don’t provide accomodations or food for anyone so given that I had no extra cash, I’ve been at this airport since Sunday without bathing or anything like that,” explained the frustrated traveler.
Many passengers have lost patience, especially with JetBlue, after the airline took the extraordinary step of shutting down flights to the Northeast.
Blaming a weekend of bad winter weather and new Federal Aviation Administration rules on pilot duty times, JetBlue canceled nearly all operations from Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning at Boston’s Logan International Airport, New York’s John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The airline scrubbed 425 flights or nearly half its schedule for the day on Monday.
“My flight got cancelled on Monday. I was going to San Francisco but I can’t get through on the 1-800 number or the website so it’s been kind of frustrating,” said traveler Carolann Ostrosky.
The airline said in a statement a combination of icy conditions in the Northeast, arctic weather and FAA rules on pilot work times is to blame for the shutdown.
The statement said, “This plan allows for 17 hours of rest for our equipment and crewmembers and time to service aircraft. As one of the largest carriers in the Northeast, weather in this area impacts our entire route network and operations.”
JetBlue said on its’ blog that it will consider reimbursement requests on a case-by-case basis. JetBlue is telling customers to submit a request for their extra costs while stranded and the airline will consider them.
It’s not only the travelers who are working hard to get home, but airport and airline employees working hard to get travelers home.
“The employees here have worked 3, 4, 5 days with no breaks, they’re working overtime to try and make this happen. You see all the ticket counters, they’re full of employees trying to make sure their customers are getting home,” said Meyer.
Tuesday afternoon, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International reported a total of 37 delays and 20 cancellations.
Miami International Airport reported 6 cancellations and a handful of delays.