United States

Winter Storm Diverts Flights From Northeast Cities to Dulles, Causing Major Backlog

Hundreds of airline passengers trying to get to parts of the East Coast experienced a traveling nightmare Thursday when a winter storm caused thousands of cancellations and flight diversions.

More than two-thirds of flights in and out of New York City and Boston airports were canceled. The flight-tracking site FlightAware reported about 4,900 canceled flights across the United States.

Many of the flights headed to New York and Boston were diverted to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Nineteen planes diverted from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Dulles. In total, Dulles handled 24 international flight diversions and seven domestic flights.

Passengers on a flight from Buenos Aires to JFK that diverted to Dulles sat on the runway for more than four hours Thursday night.

Some passengers told News4 there was confusion about what was happening and why they were sitting for so long.

“It just wasn’t right. The pilot wasn’t making the proper decisions. The flight was already delayed three hours. We were in the air for 11 and-a-half hours. We were on the ground for four hours, then he was gonna turn the plane around and fly to JFK?” passenger Jeff Bey, of New Jersey, said. “People were scared. They said if the plane was going to take off, everybody was going to stand up, so they couldn’t take off.”

Passengers were eventually put on buses to New York.

Flights suspended at JFK were set to resume Friday. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the flights would resume at 7 a.m.

Air traffic suspensions at LaGuardia Airport have been lifted, but authorities advise passengers to contact their airlines regarding specific flights.

The storm roared up the East Coast and dumped as much as 18 inches of snow from the Carolinas to Maine. It also has unleashed record flooding.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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