where the writers are
LMM Airport up and running, yet...

Operations at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport began to return to normal after a two day partial shutdown due to hurricane Earl.The return to normal was accompanied by a barrage of complaints about the manner in which the airport authority handled the emergency.Activity at the main airport grounded to a minimum Monday after it became clear that the effects of the powerful, category four hurricane would be felt in Puerto Rico.Around 200 hundred flights were either cancelled or delayed between Sunday evening and Monday. That left 550 passengers stranded. According to the Ports Authority, only 50 remained at the airport during the storm, the rest were relocated to close by hotels.But that number of 50 has been disputed by several of the stranded passengers, many of whom spent the night in cots and with little support from government officials.One of those was Rose Bergman, a 33-year-old resident of Virginia, who is traveling to the island to attend her business partner's wedding. According to her, the problem was not the delay, but the lack of information and help from official agencies.“It’s a shame and a disgrace. I have been stranded before, during massive winter storms and never have I been treated as poorly as this. Aside from a few officials from American (Airlines) and two Red Cross volunteers, nobody gave us any help.”Bergman also disputed the count of 50 stranded, stating that she alone counted well over 70 people sleeping in the restricted area the airport personnel prepared for the occasion. A few other passengers, many of whom were traveling to other Caribbean spots when the storm shut down the airport, also disagreed with  the 50 count.“Of course it was well over 50. I don’t know who gave you that number. But that person is not telling the truth. My wife and I counted 60, at least,” said Marlon Thomas, 65, of Atlanta.Thomas also complained about the lack of information coming from government officials.For Jayson Rivera, 35, from New York, the situation should have been handled better.“The problem was not that we slept on cots for almost two days. The main issue was the lack of information coming from the authorities. All data we got was from our airline and the few bits and pieces we scraped out of some policemen,” Rivera said.Most passengers who were able to afford a hotel were moved to the airport Best Western Hotel, where accommodations hit its highest total of the year.Nelly De Jesús, a day shift supervisor at the facility, explained that all of the hospitality 120 rooms were occupied on Monday.“We were full. Most of the rooms were taken by people who were left stranded by the storm. I will say that almost 60 percent of our guests on Monday were passengers waiting for flights to resume,” De Jesús said.American Airlines (AA) and its subsidiary, American Eagle (AE), were the two hardest hit air carriers during the 48 hours the atmospheric event was in the region.According to AA spokeswoman, Minnette Vélez, AE was the most affected airline. Since Sunday afternoon, Eagle, which has flights to most of the Caribbean islands, cancelled all its operations. That left 300 passengers in limbo.“Since Sunday we were preparing for the event. American Eagle cancelled all its flights on time while American (Airlines) cancelled seven,” the spokeswoman said.AA had 26, with an average of 90 passengers per aircraft, daily flights departing San Juan. AE flights 36 times a day with an average aircraft capacity of 50.Because AA had the biggest count of stranded passengers, the airline decided to provide extra help to those affected by the cancellations.According to Vélez, airline officials distributed bottled water and food supplies to those who spent the night at the airport. She also said that AA waived their charges for exchanging tickets dates for Sunday and Monday flights from and to San Juan.Flights, said Vélez, were resuming normally as the carrier aircrafts began to arrive from the Dominican Republic where they were sent for safekeeping on Sunday.  Airport police did not report a single event during  Earl. In fact, such was the relative calm the airport was in that no double shift of police officers was needed.“It was a day without any problems. Our shifts ran as usual with seven to eight guards patrolling all the time. Aside from  a few information requests by the people stranded at the terminals, no other situation was reported,” Sgt. Ramos of the airport police  said