UPDATE 2-FACTBOX-U.S. air traffic snarled by blizzard

(Adds details from Continental Airlines)

By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK, Dec 27 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. airlines canceled
hundreds of flights and could spend days returning to normal
during the busy holiday travel season after a blizzard pummeled
the northeast of the country, dumping 20 inches (50 cm) of snow
on New York City.

Thousands of travelers were stuck waiting hours for flights
at East Coast airports with severely limited access to taxis,
trains, food and information.


* See http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp for airport
delays and closures.

* The opening times for New York City area airports John F.
Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International
Airport were listed as 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT). LaGuardia Airport
was due to open at 4 p.m. (2100 GMT)


* Canceled about 700 flights systemwide on Monday, mainly
in the Northeast, due to heavy snow especially in New York and
in Boston. On Sunday, about 1,200 mainline and Delta Connection
flights were canceled. On a typical day, it runs about 5,000

* “As the weather clears Monday we are aiming to resume
normal operations late Monday and into Tuesday across the East
Coast,” Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said.

* Travelers to, from or through major East Coast airports
can change flights without fees at delta.com


* Some 450 flights out of a total of 6,200 flights on
Sunday and Monday were canceled. Southwest expects most
operations running by midday on Monday in the Northeast “with
the exception of Islip and LaGuardia where there are a little
more challenging conditions,” spokesman Brad Hawkins said.

* In addition to blowing snow, there is also limited to no
train service running to serve these New York area airports,
specifically for Long Island’s MacArthur airport in Islip. “It
doesn’t appear that we’ll operate today in Islip,” Hawkins

* Travelers were advised to use southwest.com to find empty
seats and flight updates.


* Expected 236 cancellations on Monday, with New York City
area airports still closed. On Sunday, 269 flights were
canceled due to severe weather.

* American Eagle will have an estimated 175 weather-related
cancellations today after 158 cancellations on Sunday.

* American and American Eagle have about 3,400 flights on a
typical day.

* “Calls are flooding into reservation centers, and we’re
bringing extra people in to staff up,” spokesman Ed Martelle
said. One of the bigger challenges is “getting airport
employees and TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
employees to airports to process passengers. You can shovel
runways pretty fast, but how fast can you clear the highways?”


* United reported 175 cancellations on Monday and extended
its travel waiver through Tuesday so people can change flights
without extra fees. It averages 3,300 flights a day.

* Continental canceled almost 900 flights on Monday and was
hoping to resume flights the same day with a limited schedule,
spokeswoman Christen David said.

* Continental averages about 2,400 worldwide daily

* “We are trying to reinstitute flights tomorrow
(Tuesday),” David said. “High volume markets with the most
customers will be a priority.”


* Canceled more than 300 flights on Monday and some 265 on
Sunday. The company, which has about 650 flights daily, said it
would waive fees for customers who had to chance flights in and
out of 13 affected airports on the East Coast between Saturday
and Tuesday. Customers will be allowed to rebook through Jan.
(Reporting by Lynn Adler; editing by Daniel Trotta, Derek
Caney and Tim Dobbyn)

UPDATE 2-FACTBOX-U.S. air traffic snarled by blizzard