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Students stranded while traveling during storm

Boston University students continued to trickle back onto campus Tuesday after numerous flights, trains and other travel plans were canceled or delayed due to inclement weather conditions Sunday and Monday.

The weekend storm over much of the Northeast caused delays for travelers everywhere, with some experiencing up to 16 hours of total travel time for a flight that would normally take only a few hours.

College of Communication senior Hillary Klemmt traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico over the break. Her return flight, however, was far from a pleasant experience.

“The plane tried to land here Sunday night and it was very bumpy,” she said. “Everyone was puking and the pilot decided he couldn’t land so we landed in Hartford and waited for two hours before trying to land in Boston again.”

The pilot was unable to land again, and decided to land the plane in Newark, Klemmt said.

“It was really bad and we didn’t take off again until 11:30 a.m. on Monday,” she said. “So my friends and I had to pay for a hotel for four hours, and Continental Airlines phone hotline said “We don’t compensate for Mother Nature’.”

Some students said their travel plans were postponed, but they did not mind too much.

School of Hospitality senior Dani Fattal, who is from Los Angeles, said two of her friends from BU had come to visit when they received a phone call from American Airlines over the past weekend letting them know their flight was canceled.

“Other friends said it was the most horrifying experience ever and since my friends’ flights were canceled, I decided to change my flight from leaving Sunday to leaving Tuesday,” she said.

“I got to sit by the beach and have a margarita so it wasn’t too bad,” Fattal said.
COM professor Chris Daly said he thinks there was an increase of absences above the average due to the weather.

“I noticed a real drop-off in attendance today,” he said in an email Tuesday. “Planes and even trains were delayed or canceled over a wide area.”

Some students said they had trouble getting back into their dorms once they arrived back on campus after their flight times had been changed.

COM senior Lindsay King said she lives in an apartment off-campus so she was fine returning to campus other than her flight back from vacationing in Duck Key, Florida.

“We were supposed to fly into Logan Saturday night at 9:30, but our flight was delayed until 12:30 a.m., which meant that we didn’t take off until 1 a.m., which became 2 a.m. with the daylight savings debacle,” she said.

King said the delay was definitely an inconvenience, but all the passengers were given a free roundtrip flight to anywhere AirTran flies.

“Six-hour flight delays are not the norm, but my travels were relatively painless compared to some people I’ve talked to that got stuck for days waiting for a connecting flight.”

Other students said they were delayed for more than two days.

College of Arts and Sciences junior Chris Wallace took a road trip to Florida for spring break and tried to return on a flight from Nashville on Sunday. He was then routed through Chicago on a connecting flight.

“Once I got to [Chicago O’Hare International Airport] they told me the earliest flight I could be rescheduled for would leave to Boston Tuesday morning,” he said.

Wallace said the storm was a big inconvenience, but that it would not make sense to try to fly when it was not safe.

“A lot of people had to be re-routed and obviously thousands of college students would be affected since it happened over spring break,” he said.

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