By Andy Bunker
BU News Service
If you hate long lines at the airport, today would have been a great day to be at Logan International—unless you had a flight to catch.
Due to the nearly 4,000 flights cancelled through Saturday afternoon, the usual hustle and bustle of an airport terminal was replaced by a quiet calm. With the final flights of the day set to depart at around 3 P.M., the few dozen travelers on hand made their way from check-in to security with ease.
“It’s nice not having to wait for anything,” said Jordan Shaffer of Worcester, as he waited to board his flight to Fort Lauderdale. “It is weird with the airport so empty though, it’s like a ghost town.”
Airlines started rebooking passengers Thursday morning, trying to get as many people on earlier flights to avoid being stranded over the weekend.
“We didn’t have a single available seat on any flights yesterday,” a JetBlue spokesperson said.
Everyone who wasn’t able to get out on Thursday, or early Friday, was scheduled for flights on Monday. According to the spokesperson, full refunds are available for cancelled flights.
Airlines, such as JetBlue, have ramped up their weather preparedness in past years in response to the Valentine’s Day Storm of 2007, which left thousands of passengers stranded in the airport for days. “We have come a long way since then,” the spokesperson said.
With snowfall predicted between 18 and 24 inches between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and wind gusts of up to 60-miles per hour, Winter Storm Nemo has the potential to be classified as a blizzard.
“You just can’t fly in weather like that,” the JetBlue spokesperson said. “So we wanted to get way ahead of the weather and get people out early. If you can’t leave early, you fly on Monday. The last thing we want is people stuck at the airport over the weekend.”
For people who couldn’t wait until Monday to fly, like Melanie Cerny of Amesbury, getting on the last flight of the day Friday was worth the danger.
“My flight this morning was cancelled, and I thought I was out of luck,” said Cerny. “For most people, if you don’t have to take the risk, just stay home. I have to get to Florida. This is a risk, but hopefully it works out.”
For the thousands of travelers who weren’t as fortunate as Cerny, they will just have to ride out Nemo with the rest of the northeast, and hope flights are back to normal on Monday.
“This is a lesson in preparedness,” said Cerny. “It’s too bad so many flights got cancelled, but better safe than sorry.”
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