More than 785 flights canceled; airlines waive fees

A sprawling winter storm that has dumped snow from Colorado to the East Coast made a mess of air travel for the third day in a row Sunday.

Nationwide, more than 785 flights had been canceled and another 1,720 delayed as of 2:30 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. And another 45 flights had already been preemptively grounded for Monday. 

Those troubles follow another 460-plus cancellations on Saturday and about 300 on Friday. The bulk of that total has come from the storm, which has canceled and delayed flights at airports from Colorado east into the Mid-Atlantic during the past 72 hours.

Sunday’s hardest-hit airports were those serving Washington, D.C., where snow accumulations appeared that they might exceed the 4-8-inches that forecasters initially called for.

More than 280 combined arrivals and departures had been canceled at Washington Reagan National Airport, a hub for American Airlines. At Washington Dulles – a hub for United Airlines – more than 250 combined arrivals and departures had been axed as of 2: 30 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware’s count. About 70 flights had been canceled at Baltimore/Washington International, a big base for Southwest.

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Dozens of other airports also were suffering through irregular operations on Sunday because of the snow.

Among the numerous other airfields where travelers faced above-average cancellations on Sunday included St. Louis, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia.

The storm was expected to bring more snow and wintry weather on Sunday from North Carolina to as far north as Philadelphia. Snow was possible for New York City, but forecasts indicated it would be light, hopefully sparing the three big delay-prone airports there.

Monday’s preemptive cancellations were biggest at Washington Dulles, where 16 combined arrivals and departures had been canceled as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

All four of the USA’s biggest airlines were waiving rebooking fees for some airports because of the storm, though the details were different for American, Delta, United and Southwest airlines.

Other carriers that had issued storm-related waivers by Saturday morning included JetBlue, Frontier and Spirit.

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