Travelers stranded in Austin due to storm in Northeast


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Potential blizzard-like conditions across the northeast United States are hitting the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with cancellations Tuesday.

A storm pounded the Northeast with more than a foot of snow in places Tuesday, paralyzing much of the Washington-to-Boston corridor after a remarkably mild February had lulled people into thinking the worst of winter was over. The powerful nor’easter grounded more than 5,000 flights, closed schools in cities big and small and prompted dire warnings to stay off the roads.

As of 4 p.m., ABIA had 30 flights canceled, 20 arrivals and 10 departures.

“We were supposed to leave on Monday, but that flight was canceled. Then, we were supposed to leave today and that flight was also canceled,” said Jasper Nathaniel who flew into Austin from New York late last week with his business partner Alex Blodgett. “We’re down here on a tight budget, trying to get our new business Revere off the ground, now we have three extra days.”

Nathaniel says those three extra days are going to be spent searching for any place to stay. “Airbnb’s have been $700 a night and hotels like Four Seasons have been $1,400 a night. We’ve scoured and searched,” said Blodgett.

The two business partners have found themselves camping outside the Austin Motel surrounded with bags of luggage, staring at their phones. Finally, at 3 p.m. the duo landed a reservation.

“I was so nervous! We’re confirmed!” said Blodgett

“We have a home tonight!” said Nathaniel.

One night down, just one more to go before their rescheduled flight takes off. Until then, Nathaniel says he’ll make the best of a stressful situation. “It’s much better to be in Austin tonight than in new York during a blizzard,” he said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its monthly report on air-travel quality. The report breaks down data into six categories including flight delays, mishandled baggage and consumer complaints.

The data shows flights at ABIA leave on time 82 percent of the time and arrive on time 79 percent of the time. By comparison, Houston is at the top of the list for airports in Texas, leaving on schedule nearly 90 percent of the time and arriving on schedule 81 percent of the time.

To make sure your flight is happening as planned, check here.

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