BOSTON – Flight delays and cancellations created long lines and lots of frustration at Logan Airport Friday.
“We’ve been here for about 24 hours now. We’re trying to get to Cleveland,” said a desperate-sounding Leah Chobin. “We slept on the air vents over there,” she said pointing to the edge of the terminal.
Like thousands of other passengers, she was caught up in the crush of cancellations and delays that sent air travel into a partial collapse. It started Thursday night when flights were temporarily grounded. The ripple effects lingered into Friday morning and lasted all day.
“We like Boston, but we’re ready to go home,” Kay Walker said. She and her husband, Jim, have been trying to get back to Atlanta after two weeks of vacationing in New England. Their flight originally out of Maine was canceled until Delta Airlines put them on a taxi all the way to Logan Airport.
“And this flight, we believe, is oversold, but we’re hoping for the best,” Jim Walker said.
“Flying shouldn’t be a crapshoot. We should leave the gambling to cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City,” said travel analyst Henry Harteveldt, of Atmosphere Research.
He said when bad weather hit the East Coast, the short-staffed air industry couldn’t absorb the hiccup like it used to.
“It’s difficult for airlines to hire people. Pilots are highly skilled professionals. You don’t just walk in off the street and say I want to be a pilot. It takes years of lessons and experience before you’re allowed to become an airline pilot, so that’s one challenge.”
By the end of the business day Friday, Flight Aware reported there were more than 200 flight cancellations at Logan Airport in 24 hours, and 366 delays there on Friday alone.
The tarmac at Logan looked like a parking lot Thursday afternoon after the F.A.A. called afor more than an hour because of bad weather in other parts of the East Coast.
Kyle Miller says his flight was delayed four times before it was finally canceled and he wants to get back home to Virginia.
“I just felt like I was getting drug on, you know,” Miller said. “Another hour delayed, another hour delayed, and had it canceled earlier at least I had more choices.”
“Just very irritated. Ready to get on a plane and get to my final destination,” Amy Obreza told WBZ-TV. She and her husband left Ohio Thursday heading to London. Instead, they spent the night at Logan Airport.
“It’s been terrible. We’ll be at the airport probably for 40 hours so it’s just horrible. I had to sleep on a park bench and I feel like I have bugs crawling on me now,” her husband Matt told WBZ. “I’m very upset. We’re supposed to go to London for a trip for my wife and I and now our trip is getting cut short.”