Snowed In! Winter Storm Snarls Flights, Roads

United: More than 500 flights were canceled, including flights scheduled to arrive in New York, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia and Boston airports. United urged customers to check the Web site rather than call because passengers should be automatically rebooked and that should be reflected online. Special attention was being paid to Sunday travel out of D.C., including operating "extra" flights in the morning.

Delta: More than 500 flights were canceled, primarily in the Washington, D.C., area, Richmond, Va., and Philadelphia. International flights were the main concern in the New York area, as snow moved in. Delta said it would allow customers to change their flights without penalty. The airline canceled all its flights from the three Washington airports and from Richmond and Philadelphia on Saturday. The airline expects to resume operations at those airports Sunday morning or afternoon.

Air Tran: Eighty-six flights were canceled.

JetBlue: Out of 678 total flights, 176 flights were canceled. JetBlue already had canceled 44 departures from Boston originally scheduled for Sunday morning.

Southwest Airlines: Flights were suspended for the rest of the day in Philadelphia, BWI and Dulles, with 381 out of 2,400 flights canceled Saturday. First flights out Sunday also were expected to be affected because late flights today were not able to get in, and those are the planes that go out in the morning. "It could be 36 hours before we get everyone where they need to go," an official said.

American Airlines: There were about 125 systemwide weather-related cancellations Saturday in Washington and Philadelphia, with more expected Sunday as the airline assesses the situation.

US Airways: So far, no cancellations are expected Sunday, but 181 mainline flights were canceled Saturday.

Precautions Taken Even Before Blizzardlike Storms Began

The airlines were closely watching the storm and holding storm conference calls to plot their moves before Saturday. A handful of flights had already been canceled Friday. Given the deteriorating weather conditions, the airlines knew they would not be able to get every flight out, so they began "thinning" their schedules.

Airlines also were starting to institute their "no change fee" rules for bad weather. If travelers want to change their flights, they generally could do so without penalties. Some will allow that through Saturday, some through flights on Sunday.

The storm could not come at a worse time for travelers. Flights are very full and getting more packed as Christmas approaches.

American Airlines said that its flights Friday and Saturday are already at 80 percent capacity. That did not leave much room on the planes for passengers displaced from canceled flights.

In New York, Delta planned to run operations through early afternoon Saturday and then start canceling flights. The goal at JFK was to keep all the international flights up and running.

As always, check with your airline for the most up-to-the-date information.

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