2,500 Flights Cancelled as Nor’easter Snarls Travel

Airlines had canceled nearly 2,500 flights Friday as a powerful nor’easter brought rain, snow and severe wind to much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Most carriers were waiving change fees for fliers there.

Nationwide, 2,460 flights had been canceled and another 1,150 delayed as of 11:50 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Most of those cancellations were spread across airports in the Northeast, where wind gusts of up to 70 mph were possible. The winds were expected to have an unusually long duration, lasting into Saturday. Some preemptive cancellations were already being reported for Saturday, with nearly 50 already grounded at airports across the Northeast and New England.

For Friday, the storm was snarling flight schedules, including several of the nation’s busiest airports.

Nearly half of the entire day’s schedule had been canceled at New York LaGuardia. More than 500 flights — 274 departures and 274 arrivals – were canceled there as of 11:50 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware. At Boston, about 40% of Friday’s flights had been canceled and the count continued to grow.

Many of the region’s other major airports also were seeing significant cancellation tallies. Anywhere from 15% to 25% of the day’s flights had been canceled at the New York JFK, Newark Liberty, Philadelphia, Washington Reagan National, Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.,  airports.

The cancellation counts also were growing at several others, including Baltimore/Washington, Cleveland, Raleigh/Durham and Richmond, Va.

For flights that weren’t canceled, some fliers faced rough conditions because of the windy weather.

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SOURCE: Ben Mutzabaugh