Friday, February 16, 2007

Poughkeepsie Journal

Friday, February 16, 2007

JetBlue delay puts Stewart fliers in limbo
149 passengers affected by temporary flight cancellation

By Irwin M. Goldberg
Poughkeepsie Journal

NEW WINDSOR — JetBlue's problems touched Hudson Valley residents, albeit temporarily Thursday, as a 3 p.m. flight scheduled to depart Stewart International Airport for Orlando was canceled - and then reinstated several hours later.

"I may not be able to take my kids to Disney World. I've got two kids crying in the bathroom," Stacey Robert of Hopewell Junction said on the phone from the airport shortly after learning of the canceled flight. "We've been planning this since December," she said, adding they booked the trip for this weekend because of the long school break.

Robert said she had been checking the flight status regularly since about 8 a.m. and it wasn't until 3 p.m. that they were told the flight was delayed and then, canceled.

JetBlue told passengers at the terminal it was because they couldn't get a flight crew to fly the plane from Orlando to Stewart, Robert said.

There were 149 people booked on Flight 577.

Alison Eshelman, a JetBlue spokeswoman, told the Journal the flight had been canceled to "try and get back on track. We canceled a majority of flights to get the crews ready for tomorrow morning."

Rescheduled departure

But, shortly afterward, she said the flight had been rescheduled to depart Stewart at 8:55 p.m.

"I'm just thrilled. My kids are going to be thrilled," Robert said as she was preparing to leave for the airport for the second time Wednesday. "I went to a travel agent and they couldn't find us a flight."

Eshelman said passengers booked on Flight 577 were going to be called and that if they couldn't make the rescheduled flight or didn't want to, they would be eligible for a full refund or to rebook on another JetBlue flight without penalty.

"Our hope is to resume normal flight operations tomorrow," she said, meaning today.

Irwin M. Goldberg can be reached at

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