Hundreds of flights canceled and thousands delayed as winter storm disrupts post-Thanksgiving travel

Midwest Snow Storm Puts Hamper On Thanksgiving Holiday Travel

Signage outside Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is caked in snow after a blizzard struck overnight on November 27, 2019 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Snowfalls neared 12 inches in parts of the state on one of the busiest travel days of the year.Stephen Maturen | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A big winter storm packing high wind, ice, and heavy snow caused major disruptions for travelers returning from the Thanksgiving holiday at airports across the United States.

The storm was threatening to dump more than a foot of snow on upstate New York and parts of New England on Monday. New York City and Boston could get more than 3 inches.

As of Monday morning, 172 flights were canceled and more than 450 were delayed, according to flight-tracking website More disruptions were possible as snow resumes in the afternoon.

The disruptions come on top of more than 950 cancellations from Boston to San Francisco on Sunday due to stormy and windy weather. Some 8,400 flights were delayed Sunday.

American Airlines waived date change-fees for travelers booked to fly on Monday and Tuesday to or from more than 30 airports in the Northeast, including LaGuardia, Kennedy, Newark, Philadelphia and Boston, if travelers can fly as late as Thursday. Travelers can also cancel their trips without paying a fee. DeltaJetBlue and United issued similar waivers for travelers.

High wind can slow or halt ground operations while de-icing can also delay flights.

Weather issues extended to the West Coast, where a storm and high wind delayed flights at San Francisco International for more than four hours. Nearly 170 flights were canceled in and out of the airport and about 40% of the airport’s Sunday schedule, or 600 flights were delayed, according to data.

The disruptions coincided with what trade group Airlines for America expected to be the busiest day of the year for the airline industry, with 3.1 million passengers. Airlines were expected to carry a record 31.6 million travelers during the 12 days around Thanksgiving, a nearly 4% increase from last year.

The Northeast storm is expected to last until at least Monday evening, according to forecasters.

— by CNBC’s Leslie Josephs and Spencer Kimball

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