NEW YORK (AP) — Major airlines scrapped flights in and out of the New York area Wednesday as the region was socked with the second significant storm in little more than a week.
United and American suspended operations in the region by afternoon, as white-out conditions developed. Other airlines have cancelled flights too. All are encouraging passengers to reschedule and are allowing them to do it for free.
Airlines are quick to cancel flights ahead of major storms to avoid stranding aircraft and crews. Doing so also lessens storm-related financial losses.
As of 4 p.m. Eastern, about 1,300 U.S. flights had been canceled on Wednesday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. About 40 percent of those are at Newark Liberty International Airport — which was also the hardest hit with Superstorm Sandy last Monday. Most of those cancellations were made well before the first snowflake fell.
Sandy caused more than 20,000 flight cancellations, making it the second-most disruptive storm in the last seven years. The latest storm is weaker than Sandy but still carries high winds, a mix of rain and snow and the potential for more flooding. Sandy flooded some airport runways.
Wednesday's storm includes blowing snow and fog that limits visibility. Making matters worse, Sandy damaged some navigational aids at New York's airports. In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said technicians are working around the clock to restore the navigational aids and other damaged equipment at all three airports in the New York area. The FAA also said it worked with airlines ahead of the Wednesday storm to identify arrival and departure patterns to allow pilots to use runways with working navigation equipment in low visibility conditions.
United, the world's largest airline, suspended most service in New York starting at noon. It warns that the bad weather will likely cause more delays and cancellations throughout the Northeast.
American Airlines shut down in New York at 3 p.m. It stopped flights to and from Philadelphia at noon.
Most other airlines, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp., are asking passengers to reschedule Northeast flights to a later date. They're waiving the usual change fees of up to $150. But customers don't have a lot of time. Most waivers only allow passengers to reschedule within a week. That's in part because the busy Thanksgiving travel season is approaching, and airlines are eager to clear the traveler backlog.
JetBlue, which is the biggest domestic airline at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, said its operations had just gotten back to normal Monday after Sandy.
There's a dollars-and-cents reason that airlines cancel big swaths of their schedules well ahead of bad weather. Cancellations aren't as expensive for airlines as some might think.
Most passengers eventually reschedule, so the airline still collects the fare. And if flights are canceled, the airline doesn't have to pay the crew or the cost of burning fuel. Pilots and flight attendants only get paid once the main cabin doors close.
Many passengers on canceled flights are often squeezed onto another flight, which improves the airline's efficiency.
Airlines also are not required to pay for hotel rooms, food or other expenses for passengers stuck overnight due to the weather, as many stranded by Sandy learned to their dismay.
Surges from the current storm along the coasts of New Jersey and New York are expected to reach perhaps 3 feet, only a fraction of what Sandy caused. High winds, which may gust to 65 mph, could extend inland throughout the day, potentially hampering power restoration efforts or causing more outages.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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