Massive Flight Cancellations Thanks to 'Weather Bomb'

Airlines might be more likely to cancel flights because of new tarmac rule.

ByABC News
January 11, 2011, 11:38 AM

Jan. 11, 2011— -- Thousands of fliers along the East Coast bunkered down today and waited as airlines canceled nearly 2,000 more flights and planned for more cancellations tomorrow due to a strong winter snowstorm -- called a "weather bomb" -- moving its way up the Atlantic.

Atlanta remained the epicenter of the disruptions this week after a nasty snow and ice storm, but airlines with major operations in New York's three airports are now preparing for the worst. Parts of North Carolina got up to 15 inches of snow, and New York is forecast to get 8 to 14 inches of snow with winds up to 25 mph.

Airlines in New York are worried about tomorrow's flights thanks to the "weather bomb" -- a fast moving, severe winter storm in which air pressure drops quickly and an unusually far south jet stream brings in moisture causing heavy snows and winds. In anticipation of the storm, which is forecast to hit late tonight, airlines are preemptively canceling New York flights.

Nearly a day in advance US Airways canceled flight 2122 from New York LaGuardia to Boston. In fact, by 11 a.m. today, the airlines canceled more than 245 flights for tomorrow, including 47 out of LaGuardia, 33 out of Boston's Logan and 27 out of New York's JFK, according to FlightAware, which tracks cancellations by airline and airport.

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There were 2,498 flights were canceled Monday and another 1,954 were canceled by 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with 245 additional departures preemptively canceled for Wednesday, according to FlightAware. Tuesday and Wednesday cancellation numbers climbed throughout the morning.