'Polar Vortex' causes travel delays, cancellations at Tampa International Airport

10:59 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A winter storm continues to impact the Northeast and it's causing problems for travelers at Tampa International Airport. The situation could become worse due to a second storm that will affect more than half of the continental U.S. throughout Sunday and into Monday and Tuesday, with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama.

Monday afternoon Jet Blue Airways grounded all their flights to and from Boston, New York and New Jersey until Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the day the departure board showed flights canceled to Boston, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Raleigh/Durham, Flint, and Milwaukee.

PHOTOS: 'Polar Vortex' causes travel delays at TIA

Humberto Toledo waited in a long line at the Jet Blue counter after his flight was canceled to New York. He spent the holidays with family in the Tampa Bay area. He's traveling with his 14-month-old son and says he waited to talk to a Jet Blue representative over the phone for more than an hour only to get disconnected in the process.   

Toledo, "And now I'm at the airport waiting like everyone else. It's something I should have done from the beginning and that's what really making me upset about this airline." Toledo and his son won't be able to fly out until Wednesday.

Travel problems started early Sunday.

About 1,200 flights had been cancelled Sunday at O'Hare and Midway international airports in Chicago, aviation officials said, and there also were cancellations at Logan International Airport in Boston and Tennessee's Memphis and Nashville international airports.

As of 3 p.m., Tampa International Airport had 155 delays, 62 departures and 93 arrivals, with an average delay time of one hour and 20 minutes. There were also 48 cancelled flights.

Carol Cutler was trying to fly out on Delta but her flight was delayed which meant she would have to miss her connecting flight. It's an issue many travelers face. Cutler says, "They say don't fly today or tomorrow. So I've ended up having to change my entire work week."

Cutler says she was willing to fly out of Orlando and she adds that Delta was extremely helpful. "They really went out of their way they checked everything that they could check - they couldn't get me from here to there today. Cutler lives in the Bay area. She left the airport and plans to fly out later in the week.

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