- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Passengers were stranded from Tuesday night into yesterday morning at the city’s three major airports after their flights were delayed or canceled because of stormy weather in the Midwest. Nationally, nearly 300 United Airlines flights were delayed or canceled because of an unidentified computer malfunction.

The service disruption at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark international airports began at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, said Pasquale Difulco, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the three airports.

Most scheduled flights were operating under normal schedules by yesterday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight-tracking system.

Billy Sanev, a spokesman for American Airlines, said the company had canceled 19 flights on Tuesday because of the weather.

JetBlue Airways spokeswoman Alison Eshelman said chronic congestion at the airports made them sensitive to weather-related disruptions.

“It’s such a hard thing in the Northeast right now,” Miss Eshelman said. “The airports there have grown so much. It’s definitely an issue that needs to be dealt with and airlines and airports are working together.”

There have been a record number of flight delays at New York City’s three major airports in the first four months of 2007, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In all, 38 percent of all flights at Newark Liberty, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia were either late or canceled, leading to disruptions nationwide.

United’s computer glitch affected the systems it uses to dispatch flights for departure. About 268 domestic and international flights were delayed for an average of 90 minutes, and 24 domestic flights were canceled, the airline said. United offers about 3,600 flights daily.

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