Flying gets easier but travel woes still persist

New York’s subways were crowded as limited service resumed on Thursday following extensive storm damage.
New York’s subways were crowded as limited service resumed on Thursday following extensive storm damage.

NEW YORK — Planes were getting up to speed faster than trains and auto on Thursday in the storm-stricken Northeast.

The region’s major airports were all open once New York’s LaGuardia resumed flights Thursday morning. There were canceled flights and the tri-state air space was relatively empty, but flying was closer to normalcy than moving by rail, subway, or car.

By midday, there were 192 canceled departures at LaGuardia, 188 at Newark, and 82 at John F. Kennedy International, or about one in every seven scheduled takeoffs for the whole day and evening.


Airlines scrapped nearly 8,000 flights Monday and 6,500 Tuesday. Thursday’s cancellations were about 1,000, according­ to FlightStats, bringing the total from Hurricane Sandy to more than 20,000.

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Reagan National outside Washington had 29 canceled departures; Logan Airport 26; and Philadelphia 19. There were just five at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and nine at Dulles in Northern Virginia.

‘‘We’re in great shape other than to-and-from New York,’’ said Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for Logan’s operator, the Massachusetts Port Authority. Service to the New York area accounts for about 15 percent of the airport’s traffic, he said.

As for other modes:

 Intercity buses were possibly the best option. Greyhound, MegaBus, and Bolt Bus were on nearly normal schedules.


 Amtrak said it will resume service between New York and Boston on Friday. There has been no service between New York and points north this week. Limited service between the city and points south resumed Thursday. But passengers will be able to travel from Washington to Boston via New York on Friday.

The storm flooded two train tunnels under the Hudson River and four under the East River. One Hudson River tunnel and three East River tunnels were reopened Thursday.

Amtrak may borrow trains from Via Rail Canada for its New York state service; that would free up Amtrak trains to be sent to hard-hit New Jersey to provide commuter service.

Amtrak ran trains Thursday between Boston and New Haven and from Newark, N.J., to Washington and other points south.

 Cruise terminals in Manhattan and Brooklyn remained closed. Several ships were diverted to Boston, including at least one that rode out the storm at sea. Passengers aboard the Norwegian Gem reported 40- to 50-foot waves rocking the ship and people vomiting.