Arrivals and departures were getting back to pre-blizzard schedules Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport, whose confusion due to the post-Christmas storm was nowhere near the havoc wreaked on airports 90 miles to the north.
Philadelphia airport had 64 canceled flights Tuesday - 47 arrivals and 17 departures - compared with 600 the day before. All runways were open and the airport fully operational, spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.
About 305 passengers stayed overnight at Philadelphia airport Monday, compared with 1,215 the night before.The winter storm continued to strand travelers in many places as airlines scrambled to rebook passengers on thousands of canceled flights. Some may wait days for seats on already crowded planes.
"It depends on the itinerary, where the passenger needs to go, how fast we can get you out," said US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder. "Obviously, the flights were really full because of the holidays. All we are doing now is working to get folks out."
US Airways reservations agents were on "mandatory overtime" working to get people where they need to be, she said.
At Philadelphia's airport, flight arrivals were delayed an average of 23 minutes Tuesday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
In contrast, at the New York area's three large airports, arriving flights were delayed on average 4 hours and 15 minutes at Newark's Liberty International and 6 hours, 51 minutes at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 6 p.m.; and 55 minutes at LaGuardia Airport at 4:30 p.m. By 6 p.m., delays at LaGuardia averaged 15 minutes or less, the FAA said, and by 7 p.m. Philadelphia International showed delays of 15 minutes or less.
US Airways, which transports two-thirds of Philadelphia air travelers, canceled 150 flights Tuesday.
"New York is still slowly recovering," Wunder said. "The area we are delayed most is Newark and JFK airports because one runway is open."
US Airways added extra planes on its LaGuardia-Charlotte, N.C., routes and between Charlotte and Philadelphia to help move passengers, Wunder said.
Southwest Airlines Co. canceled no Philadelphia flights Tuesday and only 20 systemwide out of 3,100 daily nonstops, said spokesman Paul Flaningan.
High winds in Philadelphia "became a huge factor" Tuesday, Lupica said. "Once the snow was done, it was the blowing, drifting, and wind gusts."
Some smaller planes could not land in the strong cross winds, she said, and had to wait until the airport's two secondary runways - in addition to two primary east-west runways - were reopened because of the direction of the 40 to 45 m.p.h. wind.