US: Winter storm leaves weary travelers stranded at JFK airport

nsnewsNSNEWS ONLINE DESK: Days after a huge winter storm caused thousands of flights to be canceled across the country, travelers were still waiting to get on planes at JFK Airport Sunday, with some forced to spend the night on cold airport floors.

Hundreds of people crowded the airport with long lines weaving around at almost every baggage drop off

Scores of travelers are stuck at JFK airports due to a string of cancelled flights.

and check-in line.

“I spent the night sleeping on top of trash can plastics on the floor,” said Lebogang Mashegoane, a 25-year-old economics student from Johannesburg hoping to make it back in time for finals tomorrow.

Mashegoane, who had just spent three-months in Nashville as part of a State Dept. work-study program, flew into JFK Saturday evening and spent the night at the airport, only to find out the next flight to Johannesburg wouldn’t be taking off — until next Saturday.

“They had a backlog of flights that were delayed so they canceled our flight this morning,” he said.

On Thursday, the city’s “bomb cyclone” shuttered JFK and LaGuardia for part of the day and more than a thousand flights were canceled.

Cassandra Zona, who had hoped to be on the morning flight to South Africa for a six week “renewal birthday adventure” said passengers shouldn’t be expected to shell out for an extra week-long stay in NYC.

“I understand, you get stuck for a day — that’s happened to me plenty of times. But a week? Especially in this city. Who can afford a hotel for a straight week? I know I can’t, not even on my best day. It’s just outrageous,” the 31-year-old said.

“I have spent my entire savings to go on this trip,” she added.

The flight tracking website Flight Aware noted that over 100 flights were delayed at JFK today, with over 300 delayed on both Saturday and Sunday.

US Senator Chuck Schumer called the situation “a disaster.”

“It was very, very cold. So you cut them a little slack but what happened at Kennedy airport went way beyond cutting them a little slack. It was a disaster and everything seemed to break down,” the New York democrat said.

Long Islander Kayla Prass, 20, was looking forward to a Jamaican beach vacation at a resort with some pals and got to the airport bright and early Sunday morning.

Hours later, she said she was told her flight wouldn’t take off until at least 5 p.m. tonight.

“We’re just frustrated because we lost a full day of our vacation,” she said. “They could have managed this better.”

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