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NY area airports ready for next winter blast

JFK airport
January 11, 2011 3:14:14 PM PST
At the airport on Tuesday, call it the stampede before the storm. Anxious travels nervous about being snowed in took advantage of the airlines one-time date and time change offers to get outta dodge.

"Because of the storm, I moved it to today," one traveler told us.

American Continental and United Airlines have waived their 150 dollar change fee for passengers scheduled to go to- from- or through the north and southeast during the next few days if they rebook and fly by next Monday.

Delta also waived its rebooking fee and extends the travel deadline until next Tuesday. Nice, but don't expect anything else.

"A blizzard is an act of God if you are stuck here because of a layover or a direct flight. They have no responsibility to put you in a hotel or feed you," travel expert Pauline Frommer said.

The airlines only have to get you where you're going eventually and that could take days. Ten thousand flights were cancelled in the blizzard after Christmas. That meant laying over millions who bunked in the terminals.

Airport concessions are preparing for another snow tonight.

"We got plenty of meat, plenty of fries. We are ready to go," one said.

Passengers not going anywhere can have delayed or cancelled trips reimbursed if they took out travel insurance.

"Some insurance policies may allow you to be put up in a hotel, they may cover your meals, extra clothing," Frommer said.

You may be able to get paid back if you miss your boat or connecting flights, or even a special event like a game or concert. It all depends on your travel insurance policy, which many people don't bother getting.

Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the three major New York metropolitan area airports, say all are ready with equipment and supplies for the approaching snow storm.

Spokesman Ron Marsico says standard storm preparations are under way, and no major changes have been ordered since the last storm.

More than 200 pieces of heavy snow equipment, including multi-use plowers, are available, as well as snow melting machines than can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour.

There are also 2,000 tons of salt, and more than 1,500 tons of sand available for airport roads and parking lots.

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MORE INFORMATION:

United Airlines Change Fee Policy

Continental Change Fee Policy and travel advisory

Delta Change Fee Policy and travel advisory

American Airlines change fee policy

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