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USA Today‘s Ben Mutzabaugh reports the final tally of cancellations related to this week’s winter storm—which cut an icy, snowy path from the Southeast through New England—could approach 10,000. “Initial estimates show that individual airports reported roughly 2,000 flights canceled Monday followed by another 4,000 on Tuesday,” Mutzabaugh wrote, “and, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine the cumulative three-day total topping 10,000 by the end of today, once more numbers come in.”
Atlanta alone accounts for thousands of those cancellations. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, “After canceling 1,800 flights on Tuesday, Delta said it called off more than 1,200 flights on Wednesday in Atlanta and the Northeast, but returned to a regular schedule in Atlanta later in the day.” AirTran canceled all Atlanta operations on Monday, and cancellations lingered into Tuesday and Wednesday.
Some 1,700 flights were canceled Tuesday between the three New York-area airports, with hundreds more at Boston’s Logan Airport.
The one glimmer of good news in all this? Unlike the last blizzard, this one didn’t take place during the busy Christmas travel period. The December blizzard swept through the Eastern seaboard on the 26th and 27th of December, leaving stranded passengers fighting over very limited seats. Planes are far less full now, meaning it will be easier to rebook travelers. There should be very few five-day waits.
“We’re in the early-January trough—travel isn’t as heavy as it is around Christmas,” an American Airlines spokesman told the Associated Press (AP). “It should be easier to get people on planes sooner.”