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Flight delays continue across US after LAX shooting

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Flights to and from Los Angeles International Airport continue to suffer delays and cancellations into the weekend after a shooting rampage at Los Angeles (LAX) Airport on Friday morning left one TSA employee killed.

At New York City’s New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) this morning, Virgin Airlines delayed and cancelled flights to and from LAX. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) experienced flight cancellations to LAX via Air New Zealand, Hawaiian, United, and Virgin; from LAX to EWR, delays were expected with Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Airlines.

Meanwhile, at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport, carriers Hawaiian, Singapore, and Virgin Airlines experienced flight cancellations to and from LAX.

And at Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), several major carriers reported delays and cancellations in their service to LAX, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America.

Airports nationwide reported flight delays and gate holds of up to 15 minutes.

According to LAX’s official Twitter feed, the shooting and ensuing airport shutdown affected an estimated 1,550 scheduled flights and about 167,050 passengers. While the incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a ground stop for flights entering and leaving LAX, Terminals 1 and 2 were reopened Friday evening for air traffic.

On Saturday morning, passengers who left their baggage behind at the airport during the fracas were allowed to return to pick it up, except for those who left it in Terminal 3, the site of the shooting. Ticket counters were reopened in the terminal to allow for purchase, but flights from airlines based there continued to depart from other terminals

Travelers stranded at LAX yesterday shared some of their experiences on Twitter. @RemiNicole tweeted, “On standby at LAX for a flight to NYC. Struggling to keep my eyes open but too paranoid to sleep!” Mike Stringfellow tweeted, “Stuck at LAX. No transport. Airport lockdown. Scene at airport is mayhem and chaos.”

Jason Clampet, co-founder of the travel news site Skift, said that the situation isn’t as bad as it could have been. “Terminal 3 is home to Allegiant Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Virgin America, and Virgin Australia. That weakens the blow of delays because, unlike American, United, Delta or other carriers, LA isn’t a big hub for these airlines. You won’t have a ton of passengers stuck halfway through their trip.” He added that Los Angeles had several other airports where plans can be redirected.

As airline carriers and their passengers continue to cope with backed up and cancelled flights, Clampet said, “Passengers going through a TSA checkpoint in Terminal 3 when it reopens are going to have strong feelings.”

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