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Airlines, passengers still recovering from polar vortex weather delays

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As much of the country digs itself out of record snow and frigid temperatures, there are still passengers nationwide who are stuck in locales that are not their final destinations.

With the east coast and Midwest being hardest hit, major airports like Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and New York area airports have reported thousands of flight delays and cancellations between January 4-7.

And while many airlines had to cancel thousands of flights, JetBlue Airways actually cancelled all of its flights in its east coast hubs, specifically flights involving Boston’s Logan Airport, New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports, and New Jersey’s Newark Airport. The cited reason for the sweeping cancellations: the need to rest their crews.

According to a study based upon FlightAware.com, the cities with the top flight cancellations and delays from January 4-7 were as follows (as reported by USA Today):

• New York area's JFK, LaGuardia and Newark (NJ) airports combined for 5,320 delays and 2,155 cancellations, with 57% of all flights disrupted during that period;

• Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports with a combined 3,134 delays and 4,655 cancellations, with 62% of flights disrupted;

• Houston with 2,064 delays and 599 cancellations, with 48% of flights disrupted;

• Philadelphia with 1,989 delays and 644 cancellations, with 55% of flights disrupted;

• Boston with 1,114 delays and 529 cancellations, with 41% of flights disrupted;

• Detroit with 1,098 delays and 640 cancellations, with 36% of flights disrupted; and

• Cleveland with 382 delays and 683 cancellations, with 57% of flights disrupted.

Airlines are expecting to have all of the displaced passengers to their destinations by Tuesday of next week, but in the meantime, most displaced fliers have to come out of pocket for hotel and accommodation expenses, as weather delays and cancellations are typically not covered under occurrences where airlines have to pay for passenger accommodations.

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