Thousands of flights canceled as storm descends on the East

Blizzard Airport

NEW YORK (AP) – More than 5,000 flights in and out of East Coast airports have been canceled as a major snowstorm packing up to three feet of snow barrels down on the region.

United Airlines canceled all flights in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. JetBlue, whose flights are largely in the Northeast, has already canceled about a third of its entire schedule.

About half of all flights out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport were called off Monday, and about 60 percent of flights heading into the airport were scratched.

In all, Airlines canceled more than 2,680 flights, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. More than 2,900 flights have been scrapped for Tuesday.

Problems in the Northeast are rippling outward across the country.

In West Palm Beach, Florida, where temperatures are expected to be in the 70s Monday, about 30 percent of all flights have been canceled. Fort Lauderdale and Orlando are also reporting major cancellations.

Most major airlines are allowing customers whose flights are canceled in the next few days to book new flights without paying a penalty. Customers ticketed on flights to dozens of Eastern airports are generally eligible for the allowance, though specific terms vary by airline.

The National Weather Service predicts 2 to 3 feet of snow for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, including the New York and Boston areas. Philadelphia should get 14 to 18 inches.

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