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Airlines cancel thousands of flights because of Hurricane Irene

NEW YORK — Travelers across the country are facing days of grief as airlines scrap more than 9,000 flights this weekend from North Carolina to Boston.

There were more than 3,800 cancellations on Saturday alone.

Millions of passengers will be affected by the time the storm finally dies as airlines work to accommodate millions of people on very full flights.

All New York City-area airports closed to arriving flights at noon Saturday, when the city's public transportation system shut down. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport were both open Saturday afternoon, but most flights had been canceled.

The airports that will be most affected today will be Newark Liberty International and New York's John F. Kennedy International, both with more than 1,000 cancellations, according to flight tracking service Flight­Aware. Boston's Logan and Washington Reagan were next in line.

Airlines have already canceled a handful of flights on Monday, but all the major U.S. carriers said they would wait to assess damage before canceling more.

Airlines wouldn't say how many passengers would be affected by the hurricane, but the numbers will likely reach into the millions. That's because so many flights, both domestic and international, make connections through major East Coast hub airports. Even passengers not flying anywhere near the East Coast could be delayed for days.

Train and bus service was also cut back. Greyhound suspended service between Richmond, Va., and Boston for the weekend. Amtrak canceled all trains from Washington to Boston today.

Canceled at TIA

Hurricane Irene grounded 41 flights Saturday at Tampa International Airport. Airport officials said 15 arrivals and 26 departures from cities ranging from Providence, R.I., to Raleigh/Durham, N.C., were canceled. More than a dozen canceled flights were between Tampa and New York. People returning from their vacation cruises to the Tampa Port may also be affected by Irene cancellations. Airport officials recommend that travelers check with their airline for up-to-date information on flights. You can also check flight status at tampaairport.com/flights.

Airlines cancel thousands of flights because of Hurricane Irene 08/27/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2011 10:21pm]
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