Tropical storm grounds flights and halts travel

More than 10,000 flights cancelled over weekend at major airports

More than 10,000 flights were cancelled in the New York area over the weekend, with further flights at risk, as John F Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark Liberty airports closed at 22:00 on Saturday before Tropical storm Irene swept up the eastern seaboard to strike New York City. The three airports, among America’s biggest, served in excess of 103 million passengers in 2010. The smaller Teterboro and Stewart International airports also closed. Closing the airports would avoid leaving passengers stranded there, the Port Authority commented.
Reagan National, Washington Dulles and Baltimore-Washington airports planned to stay open, despite airlines stopping their flights there. An estimate puts the cost to airlines from the storm at up to $40 million. Ground travel also ground to a halt as the gigantic weather system hit the metropolis. Amtrak cancelled its East Coast service on Sunday. One expert commented that online travel agencies can be helpful in such cases as its call waiting lines would be much shorter than at the actual airlines.
Overhead Bin / MSNBC