NEWS

Travel difficult as snowstorm churns over Atlantic Canada

02/09/2013 11:53 EST | Updated 04/11/2013 05:12 EDT
The storm that swept through southern Ontario may be over, but problems remain for airline passengers there, while airport travel is next to impossible for many in Halifax because of a blizzard pounding Atlantic Canada.

The storm that whipped up high winds and generated heavy snowfalls in Ontario for several hours Friday forced the cancellation of more than half the flights at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, totalling about 700.

At Stanfield International Airport in Halifax, far more flights were cancelled than those that got off the ground Saturday.

Flight cancellations and delays continued Saturday morning at Pearson, mostly because of the backlog from the storm, but also because of snowstorms pounding Atlantic Canada and the U.S. Northeast.

What's happening at Pearson was expected to have a ripple effect at airports across Canada and elsewhere.

Penny Fennell from Georgia spent the night at the Toronto airport.

Her flight was stuck at the gate for hours and then cancelled. She said she finally managed to arrange a 3 p.m. connecting flight to Minneapolis for Saturday.

"I don't blame the weather on anybody. The poor customer service agents that are up there are going to get killed today as they did yesterday. Poor restaurant workers can't keep up.

"So I have absolutely nothing but sympathy and compassion for them. I do think the whole way that this was handled was the communication was really bad," she said.

Jake Boyd of Toronto is another unlucky traveller. When he spoke to CBC News on Saturday morning he had been stuck at Pearson for 24 hours.

He was hoping to travel on WestJet to San Francisco, with a stopover in Las Vegas. Instead, he spent the night at the airport, sleeping on a bench.

Boyd said the experience wasn't "too bad," but added many people were upset by the wait.

He said he's hopeful he can get on a flight at 4 p.m. ET and thankful he is not one of the passengers who were planning to travel to the U.S. Northeast or Atlantic Canada, which were both being pounded by a blizzard Saturday.

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