BOSTON (AP) — JetBlue is scaling back operations at three New York-area airports and at Boston’s Logan International Airport in an effort to catch up with dozens of weather-related delays and cancellations, the latest development in a rash of industry-wide flight delays and cancellations that began this weekend.
The airline announced Monday that operations will be reduced at Boston, Newark, JFK and LaGuardia starting at 1 p.m. and stopped entirely at 5 p.m.
The plan allows 17 hours for the company to rest crew and time to service aircraft.
Operations will begin to ramp up again at 10 a.m. Tuesday and the airline expects to be fully operational by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The decision was made in light of weather forecasts that call for temperatures around zero and possible flash freezing. In response to the cancellations, JetBlue is waiving change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers to many Northeast airports from Jan. 2 - Jan. 7.
JetBlue isn’t the only airline affected by delays at Logan, where residual disruptions may continue throughout the week from a perfect storm of factors that caused dozens of flight delays and cancellations Sunday.
Airlines already were saddled with a backlog of passengers trying to rebook trips canceled because of last week’s snowstorm before wintry conditions at other US airports, a minor accident in New York, and new FAA rules for pilots worsened the situation over the weekend.
Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Richard Walsh said delays varied widely by airline, and urged travelers to check with their carriers about the status of flights.
Passengers at Logan on Sunday told the Globe they had been bumped to flights throughout this week or, in one case, as far off as Saturday.
On Sunday, while Boston had mild temperatures in the 40s, airlines said that harsh cold and snowy conditions in the Midwest were causing delays to ripple through the air travel system. Travel was further complicated when a taxiing plane slid off the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City Sunday morning, briefly closing the major travel hub.
The delays were also exacerbated by new rules for pilots that went into effect Saturday. FAA regulations now include stricter limits on how many hours pilots can fly before they must take a break. Airlines said they were revising crew schedules to comply with the long-discussed change.
Sunday afternoon, frazzled JetBlue passengers at Logan waited at baggage claims, many with cellphones to their ears as they tried to make new travel arrangements. Travelers lounged on benches, some drinking coffee to stay awake after a long night of delays.
Richard Bellefeuille said he had been sitting with his two young sons at Logan since Saturday evening. The boys were supposed to fly to San Francisco at 8 p.m., but after hours of delays, the flight was finally canceled at 3 a.m. The airline told them the next available flight leaves Saturday.
“Their mother’s in San Francisco, but they were here with me for the holidays and it looks like I’ll have them an extra week,” he said.
Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines, said the company already had canceled about 100 flights nationwide by Sunday afternoon. While that represents a relatively small fraction of Southwest’s approximately 3,200 daily flights, the airline still must find empty seats for thousands of passengers.
“We’re doing our best to get people where they need to go, but our flights are full, so it’s tough,” Landson said. “It’s going to take a couple days.”
Muli Klarman, 26, and her two children had their Saturday flight to Washington, D.C., delayed until Sunday, only to have that departure scratched as well.
“I lost an entire day at the airport,” she sighed.
Material from Globe Staff was used in this report.