The holiday air travel nightmare will continue for at least one more day.
winter storm that's snarled flights from coast to coast this week is
about to head offshore, but not before it brings wind, rain, snow and
poor visibility to airports in the Northeast.
today (Thursday), more than 370 U.S. flights have been canceled. Not
all can be directly attributed to the storm, but most come at airports
that have suffered the storm's effects during the past 72 hours.
with the count from Christmas Day and Wednesday, the three-day
cancellation tally from this storm now stands at nearly 2,300. Throw in
the pre-Christmas storm in which airlines axed more than 1,800 flights
last Thursday (Dec. 20) and Friday (Dec .21), and holiday fliers have
now endured more than 4,000 cancellations during the Christmas week.
particular concern to fliers today will be the three New York City-area
airports as well as Philadelphia. Long delays and cancellations are
possible at the delay-prone airports, with wind and low clouds in the
forecast for much of today.
As of 8:30 a.m. ET, 76 combined
arrivals and departures had been canceled so far today at Philadelphia, a
hub for US Airways. At LaGuardia - a hub for Delta - the total stands
at 45. At Newark, a United hub, the total is 42 as of 8:30 a.m. ET. And
at New York JFK - a hub for American, Delta and JetBlue - 25 flights
have been axed as of 8:30.
And, as travelers know all too well
these days, problems in New York and Philadelphia often ripple out to
create problems at airports elsewhere in the country.
Already, as of 8:20 a.m. ET this morning, the Federal Aviation Administration's flight delay map
shows delays averaging anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour at
Philadelphia (visibility) and New York LaGuardia (wind). Another trouble
spot: Fort Lauderdale, where runway construction is a factor in delays
averaging as much as 90 minutes.
The flight-delay map at flight-tracking service FlightStats
shows a more ominous picture, indicating moderate to severe disruptions
at most major airports in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
airports suffering significant cancellation totals as of 8:30 a.m. ET:
Dallas/Fort Worth (29 combined arrivals and departures canceled); Boston
(23); Charlotte (23); Buffalo (19); Hartford, Conn. (17) and
Burlington, Vt. (17).
The number of cancellations is expected to
grow throughout the day at airports in the Northeast, and the cascading
effect will likely be felt at dozens of other airports across the