Super Bowl fans trying to fly home have been grounded as a winter storm spread — A snow, ice and sleet across the Northeast, dropping as much as 8 inches on parts of New York City and forcing cancellations.
As of about 6:35 p.m. Monday in New York, 1,980 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. were canceled and 4,709 delayed, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company. The three major airports in the New York City area, where the National Football League’s championship game was played Sunday, were reporting delays as long as two hours, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website.
“People from all over the country are here in different types of jerseys, yet we’re all in the same situation right now,” said Darin Smith, 52, a Seattle Seahawks fan from Redmond, who was waiting at LaGuardia International Airport. “Everyone is stuck and ready to go home.”
Smith said his flight, with a connection in Chicago, was to have departed at 11:45 a.m. It was rescheduled for 2:20 p.m. and then for 4 p.m.
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“It messes everything up, but today I do it with a smile because I’m going home a champion with my team,” he said.
Fans who planned to get home by corporate jet were also finding slow-going. The Super Bowl has become the biggest annual event for business-jet travelers, according to Argus International Inc., a Cincinnati-based aviation research firm.
“In conditions like this, it’s challenging,” Jon Boyd, general manager for Carlyle Group LP’s Landmark Aviation facility at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York.
The airport has closed almost once an hour today to clear runways, he said. The snow also made it difficult to reach planes parked on a closed runway and forced pilots to clean off aircraft before departing.
“We have lots of refreshments and food, which is fortunate because we have lobbies full of people,” Boyd said.