Flying to JFK? Delays likely.
Planes at JFK Airport. (2007 Associated Press File Photo)
Starting Monday, the main runway at New York's JFK is shutting down for repairs for four months. With about one-third of the airport's traffic and half of its departures being diverted to three smaller runways, planes will wait on longer lines on the ground for takeoffs and in the air for landings. That means more air travel delays, which could spread throughout the United States.
Passengers using JFK also face another headache -- higher ticket prices. JetBlue, American, Delta and other airlines have cut their schedules by about 10 percent for the shutdown period. They can raise prices because there will be a smaller number of seats to meet demand.
The airlines and the airport are making adjustments. Besides cutting flights, airlines are adding time into their schedules. So although flights may take longer, more won't necessarily be considered late. Still, Mike Sammartino of the Federal Aviation Administration expects delays at JFK will be about 50 minutes during peak times and 29 minutes on average -- similar to busy summer days.
JetBlue, Delta and American are all holding their winter schedules for JFK until July. For JetBlue, the biggest carrier at the airport, that means an average of 150 departures compared with a normal summer schedule of 180.
-- Associated Press
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