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Airlines cancel hundreds of flights ahead of winter storm

A jetBlue Airways airplane takes off from Newark Liberty Airport on September 30, 2018 as seen from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Gary Hershorn | Corbis News | Getty Images

Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights ahead of a winter storm that forecasters expect will bring high winds and potential for more than a foot of snow across the Northeast.

A winter storm warning was in effect Friday from Maryland to Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

More than 1,200 U.S. flights were canceled for Saturday, according to flight-tracker FlightAware. New York-based JetBlue Airways, which also has a major operation out of Boston, cut 40% of its Saturday schedule, or close to 330 flights, more than other carriers. Regional carrier Republic Airways, which operates flights for American, United and Delta canceled 155 flights, close to a quarter of the Saturday’s schedule.

Airlines in recent years have canceled flights sometimes days ahead of big storms to avoid customers and crews from being stranded.

Carriers said they would waive fare differences for customers affected by the storm. Most airlines had already removed change fees for standard economy tickets in 2020 when the pandemic repeatedly derailed travelers’ plans.

Airlines cut more than 20,000 U.S. flights between Christmas Eve and the first week of the year, when far more people were traveling, due to a combination of bad weather and a surge in Covid infections among crews.

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