If you've got an airline ticket to travel on Monday, your flight may already be canceled. And your chances will be even worse on Tuesday.
Airlines reacted to a major snowstorm that's expected to wallop parts of the Northeast by cancelling more than 3,550 flights -- a move that came even before the first snowflakes began falling the region.
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As of 6:15 a.m. ET, airlines had grounded 1,851 flights for Monday and another 1,707 for Tuesday, according to FlightAware. Most of those cancellations were made Sunday evening. And even for Wednesday, nearly 20 flights have been grounded in the Northeast in anticipation of the storm.
United, the nation's second-busiest carrier, said it expected to halt all of its Tuesday operations at several of the region's busiest airports. US Airways, in the process of merging with American, also planned to halt Tuesday operations at certain airports in the region.
That the first wave of cancellations came before the first flakes had fallen in the East Coast's biggest cities hints at the scope of flight chaos that awaits fliers during the next 72 hours.
Passengers with flights to or through the region should expect major disruptions --- not only through Tuesday, but throughout the rest of the week, as well. Even if airlines are able to resume flights on Wednesday, flights schedules could restart unevenly. And, there could be a backlog of stranded fliers competing for whatever empty seats remain on flights that doe operate.
Delta Air Lines, which has hubs at both New York LaGuardia and New York JFK, confirmed to Today in the Sky on Sunday evening that it had grounded about 600 flights for Monday. United, which has hubs at Newark Liberty and Washington Dulles, said it planned to sharply curtail its operations at Newark elsewhere in the Northeast beginning Monday evening.
"We plan to operate a full schedule at our Washington Dulles hub on Monday, but will limit operations beginning Monday evening at our Newark hub, LaGuardia and JFK," United said in a Sunday evening statement. "At this point, we plan to cancel all flights Tuesday at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK, as well as Boston and Philadelphia. We are waiving change fees that otherwise may apply, and most customers will find they can change their travel plans most quickly by visiting united.com."