‘Absolute Chaos' at LaGuardia Airport on Eve of Storm

People frantically rushing to catch their last flights out of New York City ahead of Thursday's snowstorm were stymied by delays and gridlock at LaGuardia Airport Wednesday night.

The notoriously cramped airport in Queens -- once likened by former Vice President Joe Biden to "some Third World country" -- is undergoing construction, and flyers regularly encounter long delays during busy travel periods.

It has not been uncommon for people to bail out of their taxis or cars stuck on the roads leading to the airport and walk to the terminals. 

The situation was much the same Wednesday. Viewer Joseph Brandt said he encountered "complete and desperate" gridlock, with tearful passengers walking on Grand Central Parkway overpasses with their bags. 

He wrote in an email to NBC 4 New York, "The service roads are completely blocked. It took 45 minutes to travel 350 feet into the Terminal C." 

Brandt estimated it took 2 hours and 15 minutes to get from midtown to LaGuardia. 

Another man tweeted that it took him three hours to get to the airport from Manhattan and ended up missing his flight. 

One woman tweeted wryly, "I just had to walk 1/4 mile on the interstate to make it to my terminal at #LGA and I feel like I just lived out the plot of 'Wild.'"

A message was left with Port Authority, the agency that oversees operations at the three major area airports. 

A Twitter account for LaGuardia Airport had been warning of heavy traffic around the airport due to the high volume, advising travelers to allow extra time. 

Thousands of flights across the U.S. were canceled Thursday for the winter storm, including hundreds each at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.com.

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