If You’re Flying Anywhere Near The Northeast Today Or Tomorrow, Call Your Airline Now

If you watch TV, read newspapers, or consume any news source at all on the internet up to and including Facebook and Twitter, you’ve probably heard that there’s a monster snowstorm bearing down on the northeast. And that means bad times at the airport: over 2000 flights for today have already been cancelled, along with nearly as many tomorrow.

The weather is already pure crap here in our nation’s capital, and it’s about to be far worse for our neighbors to the north. Boston and New York City are both forecast to be hit with a potentially record-smashing blizzard by this time Tuesday. Unfortunately, that includes New York’s trio of incredibly busy airports: Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK.

The FlightAware Misery Map already has things looking bad in the northeast, and the list of cancellations just keeps getting worse. At the time yours truly started writing this post, there were 2003 cancelled domestic flights for today. By the time I got to this sentence a minute later, there were 2016.

It’s the same story for Tuesday. Currently, there are 1956 cancelled flights tomorrow, a number that likewise is going up almost by the second. (A normal day sees 200-400.) Wednesday is likely to be a mess as well, as airports and airlines dig out and recover and try to get planes back where they’re supposed to be.

Many airlines have already posted announcements that they are waiving cancellation or change fees for passengers flying to, from, or connecting through basically any airport between DC and Maine. JetBlue, US Airways, American, Southwest, Virgin America, Delta, Frontier, and Alaska Air, among others, have all posted notices about how to reschedule fee-free to their websites.

Even if you personally are not flying to or from the mid-Atlantic or Northeast, mass delays and cancellations tend to have a ripple effect through the entire air traffic system. If you’ve got flights basically anywhere in the country booked in the next 72 hours, make sure to double check with your airline before you head to the airport.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.