Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Blizzard Cometh: How to Cope with Flight Cancellations

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Blizzard Cometh: How to Cope with Flight Cancellations

Article excerpt

As winter storm Jonas bears down on the East Coast Thursday, likely bringing blizzard conditions and high winds to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and much of the New York City metro area, travelers could face flight cancellations, delays and gridlocked roads over the weekend.

With more than 73 million people - or about one in four Americans - living in an area likely to be affected by the storm in some way, meteorologists, state officials, and travel experts are asking people intending to travel over the weekend to consider changing their plans.

About 12 to 16 inches of snow are expected between Friday night and Sunday morning around the Interstate 95 corridor, which includes the D.C. area and the New York City area, the National Weather Service said in a statement on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is possible in Philadelphia's northern suburbs.

In some parts of the country, the warnings are severe, with the weather service noting that in the northern mid-Atlantic region - including D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia - heavy "possibly crippling" snow is expected, making travel limited or impossible.

On Wednesday, drivers in the D.C. area spent hours in icy gridlock conditions, though roads were clear by Thursday morning, the Associated Press reports.

In the event that flights are cancelled or delayed, experts urge travelers to closely monitor airline or train websites or call airlines directly to double-check that a flight is still going ahead as scheduled before leaving for the airport.

"If the forecast holds, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are almost certain to result in massive cancellations," Ben Abramson, travel editor for USA Today told WTOP. "If you're holding tickets for those days, contact your airline immediately to change your plans."

A number of airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue, are already issuing travel waivers in the expectation that the weather may snag many Americans' travel plans. …

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