New York — ofIt threatens the vacation travel plans of millions of Americans. Flight cancellations have already started and are expected to get worse.
Thursday is one of the busiest travel days of the year, making it the last chance for some to head home for the holidays.
Airlines are all on deck for the next few days, advising travelers departing on Thursdays or Fridays to be at the airport three or even four hours before their flight.
More than 1,200 flights have already been canceled nationwide, most at major hubs Denver and Chicago, where cancellations could have a domino effect here in New York.
The tri-state area experienced more than 20,000 flight delays so far on Thursday and more than 5,000 cancellations, including 97 at LaGuardia, the most of the three major airports.
Several airlines, including Delta, United and Frontier Airlines, waive change fees and offer customers the option to change to another flight.
Airport authorities are urging travelers to check flight status before heading to the terminal.
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Some travelers at LaGuardia Airport have advanced their flights, hoping to arrive before the weather worsens.
“Our flight was originally at 11am, but it was changed to 6pm, so we’d like to stay at 6pm.
Maurice Oakley, American Airlines customer service representative, said: “There are no extra flights, so if you miss a flight, you may miss your flight and ruin your vacation.
Storms are affecting people planning to travel by plane, train or car. About 190 million people have received some form of winter weather advisory, according to the National Weather Service.
The AAA expects traffic on New York’s busiest roads to double on Friday.
AAA’s Robert Sinclair Jr. said, “We can expect large crowds, but it gets worse when the weather turns bad.”
Travel experts said passengers are entitled to a full refund, as well as credit for future travel, if an airline cancels a flight.
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