Thousands of travelers are left stranded during the post-Christmas rush as the northeast struggles to get back on its feet after the weekend blizzard. The snow storm blanketed the East Coast, shutting down airports, highways and trains. Although some airports have reopened, passengers may be forced to wait days before boarding a flight. Kate Hanni, Executive Director of flyersrights.org, joined Varney & Co. this morning to give passengers advice and possible options.
“Unfortunately, those travelers stuck in New York right now, they’re going to be second in line for those seats,” said Hanni. “Anyone who has booked a seat say today, tomorrow, or Friday, those folks are going to be first in line for those seats and all of the people who are stuck who have not gotten their seats are going to be second in line waiting for the remaining available seats.”
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Passengers have been forced to camp out on terminal floors since the storm hit Sunday night.
Flights have resumed but the ripple affect can be felt throughout the country, leaving passengers with little to no options.
“It’s as if customer services is either overwhelmed or sort of shut down at many of the airlines because of the weather and the sheer number of flights that were canceled,” said Hanni. “So many people are calling us and saying ‘help us.’”
The good news for the airline industry and its passengers is that forecasters are now predicting milder weather for the rest of the week. But with many flights already expected to be full between Christmas and New Years, the airline industry is warning passengers of the difficulty they will have accommodating all of the stranded travelers on the East Coast.
“This is a huge disaster. We do have a hotline and people are calling us in mass,” said Hanni. “We are able to help people find alternative transportation and also help them file complaints with the airlines because most of the people we are talking to aren’t able to reach anyone at the airlines right now in order to get help.”