Vacation travel turbulence abates

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February 14, 2014, 6:07 pm
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(NECN: Peter Howe, Boston) A day after storms snarled every major airport from Atlanta to Washington to New York, Logan International Airport operations were returning to close to normal as school vacation travelers flocked to the airport.

Just 39 departures from Logan were cancelled Friday, about 7 percent of the total outbound volume, according to industry authority FlightAware.com. But for people trying to rebook flights cancelled Friday morning or Thursday, it was a nightmare trying to find seats on flights that were heading out 100 percent full or nearly 100 percent full.

Chuck and Mary Collins of Boston's Jamaica Plain section, who were to fly from Boston to Charlotte to West Palm Beach to the Bahamas Friday, where they and their kids were to visit Chuck's father, were stranded by having their first leg cancelled. After hours on the phone got them nowhere, and a trip to Logan last night failed to secure a new itinerary, the Collinses resorted to good-hearted hand-drawn protest signs, begging US Airways to find more planes.

"Now we're on this wild itinerary: We're going to go to Phoenix tonight, then spend 24 hours in Phoenix, then the next day fly to Miami, and then -- maybe -- we'll get to the Bahamas," Chuck Collins said.

Sarah Wyner of Newton and Abby Zeamer of Holliston were among six of 56 rowers on a Community Rowing team headed to a practice week in Orlando whose flight got cancelled. "So we're in lovely, lovely luck," said Wyner, a sophomore at Newton South High School. "We were going to drive for 22 hours, but there's also a solution of taking some plane to Miami and then driving four hours -- but that's better than driving 22 hours."

But there were also some travelers catching a break -- like Lindsay Augusta and Carolyn Doherty, elementary-school students from Abington who do cheerleading with Cheer Nation All Stars in Canton. They were to fly to Atlanta for a competition Thursday -- a day Delta cancelled hundreds of flights in and out of storm-snarled Atlanta.

Lindsay's mom, Lisa, managed to find a new flight Friday. "It was very amazing," Lisa Augusta said. "It was a lot of work for us Moms. But it was worth it for all these girls. They're very excited to compete, so we're hoping we're going to bring home first place."

With videographer John E. Stuart

Tags: Boston, Peter Howe, winter storm, boston logan airport, boston logan
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