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Massive Winter Storm Disrupting Area Flights

John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Be prepared for delays if you’re planning on catching a flight from JFK, Laguardia or Newark airport. The ice storm frosting the region is also freezing some flights.

WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi with Arnold Heydt of Travel Dynamics in Pearl River, New York

SEE: Ice Storm Photos

United Continental Holdings Inc. canceled 1,450 flights, including 850 by United Airlines.

The company’s Continental Airlines unit canceled about 600 flights, including many at its hub in Newark, N.J.

“We expect to have very limited operations at Newark,” spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said.

JetBlue canceled flights in and out of JFK airport after Tuesday morning, but had been planning for some flights to resume Wednesday afternoon.

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Although New York’s airports have a reputation for being a choke point in the national travel grid, this time the trouble is bubbling up from Dallas and Chicago. Those cities are coping with the same weather system that’s been icing up our region. McCarthy said the same restricted service at Newark would also be true at Chicago’s O’Hare.

Airlines canceled thousands of flights on Tuesday and Wednesday.

FAA Airline Links | National Flight Delay Information

Flight tracking service FlightAware logged more than 6,000 cancellations on Tuesday and more than 3,000 for Wednesday.

American Airlines operations took a one-two punch. Spokesman Tim Smith said more than half of its schedule – some 1,900 flights – were canceled or diverted Tuesday.

Delta Air Lines Inc. canceled more than 1,350 flights on Tuesday. It has already canceled 800 Wednesday flights.

The airlines now take a simple approach to bad weather: cancel flights early, if possible. In last week’s Northeast storm, most of the 3,500 cancellations happened before the first snowflake fell.

In late December a blizzard in the Northeast caused more than 10,000 flight cancellations. Hordes of holiday travelers were stranded in airports. In some cases it took days to get them on a new flight. Passengers fared better in recent storms because there’s less traffic in January and February, so it’s easier to rebook.

Are you sick of this winter already? Sound off in our comments section.

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