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Airlines play game of catch-up in NYC area

Officials at New York's airports said it might take days for all the passengers who've been camping out to get flights out.

December 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Thousands of stranded airline passengers are still looking for a way to get home on Wednesday. Airlines say it could take until the weekend to rebook everyone from all the canceled flights.

More than 5,000 flights were canceled at the three main airports in New York, 1,000 on Tuesday alone.

Officials at the New York area's three major airports said runways were all open Wednesday morning but it might take days for all the passengers who've been camping out in terminals to get flights out.

Cancellation wasn't the problem with one plane that actually made it into New York City. Planes were stuck on the ground, and some couldn't even get to a gate.

A Cathay Pacific plane with 250 people onboard sat on the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport for nearly a dozen hours.

"There were two or three people that were sitting two or three rows behind me that were crying," said passenger Vincent Butcher. "It was inconvenient for a lot of people and really there were a lot of reasons given for the delay of sitting on the tarmac for 11 hours, but none of them were really that plausible to be honest."

Officials say the airline decided to land without checking to make sure a gate was available.

The big dig out from the holiday storm that pummeled the East Coast isn't happening fast enough for lots of people.

In New York City, some people have been forced to take snow removal into their own hands. They're shoveling public streets the city promised would be cleared by Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.