Airlines have preemptively canceled more than 700 flights for Monday and another 800 scheduled to depart Tuesday as a late-winter season snowstorm threatens several cities in the Northeast.
Meteorologists predict a Nor’easter barreling up the East Coast will dump up to 24 inches of snow across the Northeast Megalopolis — the region that runs from Washington and Baltimore through Philadelphia and New York and on up to Boston — beginning Monday night and running into Wednesday.
Throw in bitter cold temperatures and high winds, and more than 50 million people in the target zone are hunkering down for a full-on blizzard just as an unusually warm and snow-free winter is coming to an end.
"In some locations in Pennsylvania, New York State and New England, snowfall from this storm could be the biggest March snowstorm since that of the 1993 March blizzard," said AccuWeather chief meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
With a snowstorm also blanketing Chicago with 3-6 inches of snow on Monday, it’s all adding up to a travel nightmare for much of the U.S., which means your plane to somewhere is probably going nowhere.
As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday, 948 flights within, into or out of the United States had already been cancelled, and another 629 had been delayed, FlightAware reported.
And 24 hours in advance, the airlines had already pre-emptively cancelled 1,736 flights that had been scheduled for Tuesday.
Before heading to airport, carriers are advising to check in with customer service to see if your scheduled flight is on time.
Ahead of the storm, American, United, Delta, Virgin, JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit posted travel advisories on their websites informing travelers booked to fly in the affected areas between March 12 and March 15 that they were waiving their change fees for reservations.
Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Melissa Ford said the airline anticipated canceling nearly its entire Northeast schedule on Tuesday, according to USA Today.