Nor'easter: Flight cancellations stretch into Thursday, near 3,300
Air travel faced more disruptions Thursday from a lingering nor’easter, though flight schedules were expected to be much better than on Wednesday.
Nationwide, more than 490 flights had been canceled and another 1,440 delayed as of 2 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
That number could climb throughout the day as the nor’easter winds down in New England, but totals are not likely to approach the whopping 2,787 cancellations endured by air travelers on Wednesday. Nearly 60% of the day's flights were canceled at both the Newark and LaGuardia airports near New York. A number of other major airports were also hit with major disruptions Wednesday, including JFK, Boston, Philadelphia and Hartford.
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On Thursday, the biggest storm-related disruptions came in Boston. More than 160 flights – 111 departures and 54 arrivals – had been canceled as of 12:50 p.m. ET. That amounted to about 15% of the entire day’s flight schedule, though --so far -- those totals were still lower than what Boston saw a day earlier.
New York LaGuardia, Newark, Hartford and Portland, Maine, were among other Northeastern airports with high cancellation tallies for Thursday.
Now, with the nor’easter moving farther away from big U.S. metro areas, the storm's impact on flight schedules should diminish throughout the day.
“We expect today to be a mixed bag in terms of recovery,” FlightAware spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a Thursday morning statement. “Boston and New York are expected to see the snow end by the late morning hours but northwest gusty wind conditions in New York could lead to unfavorable runway conditions at EWR, JFK and LGA. We anticipate delay programs at those airports as well as potential ground stops.”
“By this afternoon and evening, we expect airlines to shift fully into recovery mode,” she said.
However, one other trouble spot for Thursday travelers could come in the Midwest.
“Detroit Metro Wayne (DTW) – a Delta Airlines hub - and Cleveland Hopkins Intl (CLE) are forecast to receive accumulating snow today and may require ground stops for deicing and snow removal operations,” Orsi added in the statement.
For those scheduled to travel through the Northeast this week, most big airlines had put weather waivers in place that allowed fliers to change their plans without paying change fees or additional charges.
The waivers included airports from Pennsylvania and New Jersey north through New England.
Among the major airports included in the various waivers: New York JFK, Newark Liberty, New York LaGuardia, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford and Providence. Smaller airports included Albany, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Islip/Long Island, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; New Haven, Conn.; Newburgh, N.Y.; Portland, Maine; State College, Pa.; Watertown, N.Y.; and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.
Some carriers, such as Southwest and Alaska Airlines, included the airports in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas.
Scroll down for links to the flexible rebooking policies currently in place at big U.S. carriers: