End of American holiday travel nightmare mercifully in sight

Brett Michael Dykes

As the East Coast continues digging out from one of the worst winter storms in recent history, nightmare holiday travel stories abound. Reports over the past few days have indicated that some travelers may remain in limbo into the new year. But at long last, some light may be emerging at the end of the tunnel.

Reports the Wall Street Journal's Susan Carey:

Air travel could improve Wednesday as calmer winds were in the forecast. But with the heavily traveled New Year's weekend ahead, flights later this week were already packed, leaving few seats for passengers eager to depart Northeast airports.

More than 2,000 passengers continued to wait at JFK Tuesday. Gate shortages forced arriving planes to divert. Slow subways and a nonfunctioning airport train made it tough for some travelers to even get to airports.

In one hopeful sign, airport workers began to clear cots away that had been used by stranded travelers. "Everybody's slowly coming online," said John Kelly, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports.

So the lesson here, we suppose, is this: While holiday enthusiasts share in the "White Christmas" reveries of Bing Crosby, recall that holiday dreams can morph quickly into nightmares. Recall also that Der Bingle never recorded a morale-boosting song for enduring the chaotic, days-long aftermath of a blizzard. In other words: Be careful what you wish for.

(Photo: AP)