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All Things Travel: JetBlue’s Struggles, Callahan Tunnel Traffic Test

By Bob Weiss, CBSBoston.com Travel Contributor
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(Photo credit STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Bob Weiss’s All Things Travel reports can be heard weekly on WBZ...
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BOSTON (CBS) – There was supposed to be a celebration Tuesday for JetBlue’s tenth anniversary at Logan Airport, where it has risen to become the number one airline in Boston.

Instead, it’s still digging out from a public relations nightmare.

The airline halted flights to and from Boston, New York City and Newark Monday afternoon into Tuesday to allow them to get flights back on track.

With planes heavily booked, it will be Friday before the backlog is completed cleared.

JetBlue is Logan’s number one passenger airline with more than 25-percent of the business. That adds up to about 24,000 people a day using Logan.

When the carrier started operations in Boston, it had less than one-hundred employees based here.  It now has more than 2,000 people stationed here. It includes its own hanger in the north cargo area.

JetBlue now flies into every major airport in New England except Manchester, New Hampshire.

The airline was not alone in its weather-related problems this past weekend.

In Terminal C, it’s neighbor United Airlines had hundreds of bags waiting to be claimed and many of its flights delayed.

In the baggage area of JetBlue was this message on the TV monitors for arriving flights: “We’ve had it made for a decade. Thank you Boston.”

The anniversary celebration will be held later. Spring is not that far away.

CALLAHAN TUNNEL UPDATE

The other big story involving Logan Airport Monday was the first real work day of the year since the Callahan Tunnel was closed to traffic going to East Boston from downtown. Monday, usually the busiest day of the week, seemed a little lighter than normal on January 6.

This reporter had checked out the ride through the O’Neill Tunnel from the normal Callahan exit and used Exit 18 on the Southeast Expressway and the Haul Road to get to Logan.

On a quiet Saturday afternoon the trip took just 11 minutes.

That same trip on Monday at 5 p.m. took 38 minutes.

Traffic signal lights in South Boston and the Seaport District caused the major delay getting into the Ted Williams Tunnel. The tunnel itself was busy, but not too slow. If the airport had been in full operation for the evening flights, the result would have been even slower.

A check with limo drivers at Logan found them telling their clients to allow an extra 30 minutes to their schedule on getting to their terminal.

The leisure travel vacation season is over until the February vacation period. This will be the real test of the capacity of the Ted Williams Tunnel traffic load.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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