NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Airlines on Friday were canceling thousands of flights as the East Coast braces for a major weekend snowstorm.

Airlines canceled 2,800 flights Friday to, from or within the U.S., according to flight tracking service FlightAwareAnother 3,200 flights were canceled for Saturday. Those cancelations center on Philadelphia, Washington, and New York, with airlines essentially shutting down all flights into those cities. 

The bulk of Friday’s cancellations were in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Saturday’s cancellations center on Philadelphia, Washington, and — to a lesser extent — New York.

Overall, the airlines have canceled about 12 percent of their scheduled flights in the U.S. for Friday and Saturday.

American Eagle canceled all Saturday flights from John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

American Airlines is canceling all flights after the late morning on Saturday.

United Airlines also shut down all operations at Tri-State Area airports, as well as those in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, on Friday afternoon. Anyone who had planned to fly on United was advised to check their flight status before going to the airport.

United is also shutting down operations in the New York City metro area on Saturday.

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All major airlines have issued waivers for the weekend, allowing passengers to rebook onto earlier or later flights to avoid the storms.

Flyers are urged to check with their carrier before heading to the airport.

By Sunday afternoon, airlines hope to be back to full schedule to handle business travelers heading out for the week.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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