Airlines canceled or delayed thousands of flights Wednesday as another storm developed along the Mid-Atlantic coast, bringing a combination of rain, sleet and snow.
More than 3,400 flights scheduled for Wednesday have been canceled, according to FlightAware. Most of the affected flights had destinations or departures in the Northeast corridor. On Tuesday more than 700 flights within the U.S. were canceled, many because of the storm.
“The entire region should expect disruptions Wednesday morning, including school closings, a difficult commute, and air travel delays and cancellations,” said Jason Samenow, chief meteorologist at The Washington Post.
More than 2,100 were canceled or delayed at just John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark International airports in New York. The Philadelphia hub had roughly 600 canceled flights and the three Washington-area airports had 550 flights canceled as of early Wednesday. Airlines said they may reduce operation and experiencing delays as the precipitation falls complicating visibility.
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This could be the Washington region’s biggest snowstorm of this year, Samenow said. Downtown Washington and areas to the south could get two to 5 inches of snow and areas north 4 to 8 inches.
The precipitation is likely to affect air travel Wednesday, especially between mid-morning and early afternoon – when snow may be heaviest, Samenow said, but he added: “This probably won’t be a snow event that cripples airports and shuts down everything, so check your flight status.”
Amtrak said it also will make modifications to rail service along the Northeast Corridor on Wednesday. The railroad has canceled more than two dozen Acela trains and another two dozen Northeast Regional trains scheduled for Wednesday between Washington and Boston.
“Full service will be restored when weather conditions allow us to safely do so,” Amtrak said in a Tweet.
The storm is the fourth nor’easter to paralyze travel all along the corridor this month, with high winds shutting down bridges, grounding flights and disrupting train service from Washington to Boston. Some airlines and Amtrak were just rebounding from the impacts of the last storm when the latest forecasts were made.
Airports are asking travelers to monitor their flight status and check before leaving for the airport. A number of airlines are waiving change fees in anticipation of the storm that is expected to affect major airports from Washington to Boston.
The nation’s four biggest carriers – American, Delta, United and Southwest – have flexible change policies for travelers in the Northeast.
American Airlines said early Wednesday that it was reducing operations, canceling more than 1,260 flights, about 20 percent of its global operations. The airline said it will suspend all flight operations at LaGuardia after 11 a.m. By morning, it had canceled 256 flights at Reagan National and 340 Philadelphia International airports. More cancellations were likely Wednesday.
Officials at Baltimore-Washington International Airport said crews are on the ground preparing the airfield for the storm and travelers are urged to check with airlines for updated flight status.