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Travel Troubles Begin Early On East Coast

By Bobby Sisk, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – In a week packed with three chances of snowfall on the East Coast, travel troubles started early. “It’s become slightly more complicated,” said traveler Whitney Young at Logan Airport.

Most of the cancellations and delays affecting Logan came between five p.m. and eight p.m. for flights headed to and from airports in the New York area and Philadelphia. Just before five p.m., cancellations hovered just above 60.

Young and her classmates are surgery residents at Brown University. A problem in Philly led to a last-minute drive to Boston. “We were supposed to go from Providence through Philadelphia out to San Diego,” Andrew Blakely said. “It was a weather-related difficulty that I guess our flight was delayed out of Philadelphia. So instead, we drove from Providence here to Logan so that we can get a direct flight to San Diego,” Young explained.

A weather issue sent Hanover resident Bill Kadra from one terminal and airline at Logan to another. “I got bumped from US Air over to Delta because my flight from US Air was delayed and I missed my connection,” he said. He’s en route to Ft. Lauderdale and expects some travel frustrations as more winter weather approaches. “It’s probably going to be a lot of cancelled flights… hopefully they’ll do what they’ve been doing and cancel them ahead of time and enough time to reset their systems,” he said.

“I’m thinking I’m glad it’s not February school vacation,” said travel agent Mark Sickler at Malmburg Travel in Boston. He focuses on corporate travel, but expects a difficult few days for both leisure and business travelers. “It’s time to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. No, you gear up, you plan. You check to see what you have flying that week. Who’s flying and where they’re flying to,” he said.

His best advice is something we’ve all heard many times before. To get the most updated information, call your airline before you leave for the airport. And if you can, make changes as soon as possible. “There’s already weather advisories and alerts out there now by the airlines that are giving you waivers to change up to a certain time frame,” he said. You may be able to re-route or book another time before what he called the domino effect from winter weather. “If there are delays today, it affects the flights tomorrow and if there is another storm on Wednesday, it just progresses. It’s going to be awful.”

As of Monday night, most departures were back to normal, even to earlier problem cities of New York and Philadelphia. But travelers leaving Logan were already focused on the trip home and two more forecasted storms in the coming days. “Hopefully the return trip, you know, won’t be as much of a fiasco. But we’ll see,” said San Diego bound Andrew Blakely.

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