In case you’ve been blithely unaware of a weather phenomenon dubbed Hurricane Sandy, she’s moving in on the East Coast, and fast. As such, American, Delta, United and US Airways had already wiped a combined total of about 9,000 flights off the boards to prepare for the storm. That’s a lot of stranded people.
By this morning, each of those airlines had already scrubbed more than 1,000 flights each, mostly arriving or departing from airports on the East Coast. United ditched 3,700; Delta canceled 2,100; American gave up on 1,571 and US Airways grounded 1,600, reports Forbes. And that’s not going to be the end of it.
The basic premise of this storm is that no planes are going anywhere up in the air while Sandy is still around, which is likely leading to many a headache as travelers seek alternate transportation to get where they need to go.
United said it started canceling flights on Sunday and won’t put any planes in the air out of Newark International, New York La Guardia, New York Kennedy, Washington Dulles, Washington National or Baltimore-Washington International. Things should be started back up on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, US Airways isn’t flying out of Philadelphia or Washington National on Monday.
“Our operations team has been working since Friday on scenarios that would accommodate customers flying to and from the East Coast this weekend, while also moving our airplanes out of Sandy’s way to avoid having them stuck in airports in Sandy’s path,” a United spokesman said, adding that no one ever likes to cancel customers’ flights but hey, gotta be safe in the face of a hurricane.
American preemptively canceled 140 flights on Sunday and added 1,431 more for Monday through Wednesday. A spokesman adds that there might be further problems after the storm hits which could result in delays.
Check your flight status before you leave for the airport and pay close attention to the carrier’s site for any flight updates. Customers are likely going to face long wait times when trying to call airlines to rebook flights, so don’t be surprised if you’re put on hold for quite a long time.
We’re sure there are going to be quite a few of our readers out there with some unfortunate travel situations coming up, so hang in there!