Newark, NJ – The weather interrupted the plans of many air travelers on Tuesday.
The worst airport to be hit by a storm this week was none other than Newark Liberty Airport. About 30% of flights have been canceled and another 30% are delayed.
Inside Building B, it was one misery-filled story after another.
“Too bad. I’m so sad. I work seven days a week. I want to be on the beach,” said Rosie Ditoma of Long Island.
“They canceled the 2 p.m. flight. They put us on the 6 p.m. flight, they canceled the sixth flight, and now we can’t leave until Friday,” said Steve Roboli of Mississippi.
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CBS New York has met travelers who haven’t been in the sky as they perch on tables, chairs, and even baggage carts as they prepare for another night’s rest at any nook and cranny they can find.
“We slept a little bit of everything. This is the most comfortable I’ve slept in all night. I slept on the floor. I tried to sleep on the horrible chairs, the carpet. I actually didn’t mind it,” said Omid Hagenegher from Los Angeles.
Brothers Omid and Kian were trying to get back to the West Coast. While they understand that severe weather since Sunday has caused hundreds of delays and cancellations in the Tri-State area alone, they said the decision-making by airlines has been a little confusing.
“Our brother, in fact, had his departure for the day. We were supposed to leave yesterday. And he ended up leaving before us,” Kian Hagnegahdar said.
Drew Canese said he’s willing to drive 16 hours home to Orlando, Florida, or even take a 23-hour train ride. But at Newark Airport, both options are sold out.
“I have two kids at home, so I have to go home, I have to go back to my job, if they don’t fire me yet,” Kaneza said.
His flight has been canceled and the next available option isn’t until Thursday. He said the airline is not helping to find or pay for a place to stay.
“The added expense of a hotel room, another flight, and all of that stuff, I mean, it adds up,” Kaneza said.
While travelers bash airlines, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby blames the FAA for the problems.
In an email to staff, Kirby wrote, “I’m… frustrated that the FAA has frankly failed us. … As you know, the weather we’ve seen at EWR is something the FAA has historically been able to manage.” without a severe impact on our operations and customers.”
The FAA responded with a statement writing that “we will always cooperate with anyone who is seriously willing to join us to solve a problem.”
Bill McGee is a senior aviation fellow at the American Economic Freedoms Project. He says none of the airlines are in any position to point fingers.
“You’re better protected on a US airline in, say, Brussels or Paris than you are in Atlanta or Dallas. Think about the irony of that,” McGee said.
This is because, he says, most other countries have a charter of rights for airline passengers.
“If there’s a delay, you get a meal. If there’s a cancellation, you get a hotel, no discussion. They’re mandated by the government,” McGee said.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced.
“Better protection against unnecessary cancellations and delays,” Blumenthal said.
He said he thought if he didn’t pass, there would be many more days at the airport.
“The airline lobby has a lot of clout in our nation’s capital, but we have a lot of people on our side and the longer they wait now at the gates for takeoff, the more angry they get,” Blumenthal said.
The Port Authority advises travelers to check the status of their flight with their airline before heading to the airport, but that advice does not help those catching connecting flights, like Liz Gillatt, who said she had already missed three days of her visit in Tokyo. vacation.
“First, something broke. Then we got on another plane. Then it started raining. Then we went down and it was cancelled,” said Gelatt, from Washington, D.C.
Looks like the misery isn’t over yet. With more rain expected in the coming days, possibly extending into the weekend, many of these travelers may not fly until Friday.
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