|No stranded CAL passengers |
By Sasha Harrinanan Monday, January 25 2016
One day after the ‘Snowmaggedon’ winter storm, Jonas, hit the east coast of the United States, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) yesterday resumed service between Piarco International Airport, Trinidad and John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York.
Jonas affected some 85 million people, cutting power at one point to 300,000 people. The heaviest snowfall was recorded in Glengary, West Virginia, which had 42 inches or 107 centimetres.
When Newsday visited Piarco early yesterday afternoon, there were a few customers checking in for flights but no stranded passengers in sight.
A check with a senior official at the CAL check-in counter revealed that “there were enough seats” on flights prior to and after the cancellation of eight flights on January 23 and 24, “so everybody was accommodated.
No one is on standby.” The first CAL flight from Piarco to JFK via Georgetown, Guyana departed Trinidad at 6 am yesterday while a direct flight from Piarco to JFK took off at 10.30 am yesterday.
Other flights were scheduled for various times throughout the day.
In a travel advisory issued early on Saturday, CAL had advised passengers that flights to and from JFK and Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica as well as from Piarco, Trinidad were all cancelled “due to winter storm Jonas”.
CAL also said “affected customers travelling to/from New York during the period January 22 to 24, 2016 will be permitted to change or cancel their reservations without penalty subject to the following conditions: Passengers must have a confirmed ticket issued before January 21, 2016; Passengers must be booked and ticketed for travel to/from New York (JFK) during the period January 22- 24, 2016; and changes may be made for travel up to February 28, 2016. Increase in airfare due to new travel date will be waived.
Changes to origin/ destination are not permitted.” CAL passengers were also given the option of full refunds on tickets issued for travel to / from New York between January 22 and 24, 2016.
Meanwhile authorities in New York City yesterday lifted a travel ban that had been put in place while Jonas was dumping the second-highest snowfall on the city since records began in 1869.
A BBC report noted that five states recorded at least three feet or 91 centimetres of snow, with more than 20 snow-related deaths being reported; at least six from hazards related to shovelling snow while 14 other people have died in snow-related incidents since Friday.
A woman and her one-yearold son died of carbon monoxide poisoning in New Jersey late on Saturday.
“Police said the exhaust pipe of the car in which they were sitting was covered by snow, adding that the woman’s three-year-old daughter is critically ill,” the BBC reported.