The 2013 winter storm expected to pound areas of the Northeast with as much as two feet of snow this weekend is snarling travel in the Northeast.
As of early Friday evening, 4,740 U.S. flights U.S. flights had been cancelled through Saturday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. There are about 30,000 commercial flights per day nationwide.
That number may increase Saturday and into Sunday as the extent of the clean up is not yet known.
Operations have all but ceased at the three New York-area airports. The same is true for the New England airports, including Boston Logan. Flights may resume at the New York and New England airports by 3 p.m. Saturday.
Leading the way in cancellations is Newark airport, with 695 flight cancellations so far. United Airlines leads the way in airline cancellations by airline, with 475 flights scrapped for the storm.
Alex Demers said her parents' Friday flights to New York City were cancelled and they're being told -- by two different airlines -- they won't be able to get to New York City until "at least Monday." Her parents live in Scottsdale, Az., but her mother was traveling in Berlin, Germany on business. Her father was meeting her mother in New York. Her mother is traveling on British Airways and her father on US Airways.
Amtrak has announced they will suspend rail service in the Northeast as of Friday afternoon. Southbound service out of Boston will end at about 2 p.m. Northbound service from New York City will end at 1 p.m.
Greyhound has delayed and cancelled routes from as far south as New York City to as far north as Montreal, Canada. Popular discount bus company Bolt Bus has cancelled al operations on Friday between Boston and New York and Boston and Philadelphia. Megabus has also cancelled many Northeast routes.
Travelers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund for the unused portion of their trips. Airlines have issued waivers enabling travelers to change their travel plans without incurring change fees. Change fees are typically $150 but vary from airline to airline.
Airlines in particular have become more proactive in recent years about cancelling flights ahead of storms. Instead of waiting until the last minute to cancel flights and in turn stranding travelers at airports, now airlines plan in advance to keep people away from airports as much as possible.
However, any costs a traveler incurs from being stranded -- meals, hotels, etc. -- are theirs alone to deal with. Airlines are not required to house travelers in hotels in the case of bad weather.