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(NECN: Peter Howe, Boston) - A day after Logan International Airport officials estimated 50 percent of flights were cancelled as an epic blizzard arrived, by Friday morning and midday, it was more like 90 percent at times, as many jets destined to head outbound later never made it into Boston.
By Friday night, schedules were lurching back to normal, including a full complement of international departures to London, Paris, Reykjavik, and Irish and German destinations. But many fliers were still running into nasty surprises - even after checking ahead of time.
Emory Boll and his father, Chris, checked in with United Air Lines online before getting on a bus down from Manchester, N.H., only to find out that Emory's flight to Newark Liberty International Airport that was predicted to be an hour late was actually cancelled outright.
"While wer'e on the bus, they changed it - and cancelled it," Chris Boll said.
Donna Dube of Middleton, N.H., had the same experience with a Delta flight to San Jose via Minneapolis that was a go when she and her husband woke up Friday morning, but after a long drive down snowy highways they found had been cancelled.
Their frustration was that their hotel in San Jose, where they were heading to visit their granddaughter, was still planning to charge them for two nights they wouldn't get to stay there after their trip was rebooked for Sunday.
Despite their hassles, Massachusetts Port Authority aviation director Edward Freni said the number of people stranded or inconvenienced could have been much worse.
"Fortunately, [Thursday], we had a number of people that got out a day early, and the airline reservation systems kicked in and notified people," Freni said.
While airlines cancelled flights by the hundreds overnight, Logan kept two runways open all night.
"The snow was light, so it was easy to remove, our plows were in great shape, our crews did a great job," Freni said.
The biggest challenge, he said, was that it was so cold, they had to contend with a rare phenomenon known as frozen fog, when airborne moisture suddenly turns to ice on metal surfaces.
"Some of the de-icing trucks, some of the trucks that service the aircraft had to be de-iced themselves," which slowed the process of getting planes out from Logan, Freni said.
With videographer Daniel J. Ferrigan