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Thousands of flights canceled as nor'easter targets millions

Jan. 29, 2022
4 min read
Airplane runway covered with snow at Newark Liberty International Airport on January 7, 2022 in New Jersey, United States as massive snow storm hits the east coast. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Thousands of flights canceled as nor'easter targets millions
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A raging storm is slamming into a huge chunk of the country right now from Maine to South Carolina. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights and the storm could snarl airline travel for several days.

"Travel is going to be a mess so if you’re traveling to or from the Northeast and if your airline hasn’t canceled your flight yet … save yourself the aggravation and postpone," said JohnnyJet founder and editor-in-chief, John E. DiScala (aka Johnny Jet). He continued, "If you don’t have that luxury then pack some snacks and your patience."

Winter Storm Kenan has sustained winds in a stretch of coastline with winds steady at around 30 miles an hour, and gusts up to 60 miles an hour. In Boston, they are expecting more than a foot and a half of snow. New York City is expected to get as much as a foot of snow.

Airplane runway covered with snow at Newark Liberty International Airport in January 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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As you can imagine the airlines have their hands full again this weekend.

"The airlines began issuing travel waivers for this big storm as early as late Thursday, so the carriers are expecting a significant weather impact to their operations in New York City, Boston, and other parts of the U.S. East Coast," said Tim Jue, a San Francisco-based reporter covering airlines and travel.

Related: Here’s what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled

According to flight tracking company Flight Aware - as of 10 a.m. on Saturday, more than 3,500 flights have been canceled on Saturday, Jan. 29. Another 827 have already been canceled on Sunday.

Cancellations on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. (Screenshot courtesy Flight Aware)

Jue told TPG that if readers were traveling anywhere in the Northeast today, " ... there’s a good chance your flight will not take off given the sweeping number of cancelations."

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Hardest hit so far? JetBlue canceled a whopping 68% of its scheduled flights today. Two of its hubs are among the hardest hit airports in today's storm with both New York-JFK and Boston Logan (BOS) seeing blizzard conditions.

Regional carrier Republic canceled 62% of its flights today. United canceled 397 flights or about 22% of its schedule, and American Airlines cut 18% of its flights.

"We want to keep a close eye on what happens after the storm," continued Jue, "Airlines have comprehensive plans in place for a winter storm recovery at an airport, but those plans are built for an era when the airline is fully staffed and there isn’t a highly contagious COVID-19 variant circling about."

Indeed, according to Flight Aware, JetBlue has pre-emptively canceled 10% of its Sunday schedule and Republic has already canceled 19%.

To top it off, airlines are still recovering from a pretty messy operational meltdown that dragged on from Christmas into the new year. According to a TPG analysis, one out of every 13 flights was canceled over the holidays.

Related: Alaska cuts 10% of its January flights

"The big flight disruptions we saw in December 2021 were attributed not only to sick flight crews but also because of winter weather nationwide, said Jue. He continued, " I do not think the disruption will be as significant, but you’re going to really want to triple check your flight status if you’re flying to the Northeast in the coming days."

Featured image by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

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  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

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  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees