Blame These Airports For Your Weekend In Travel Hell

For the love of God, just stay home

Just think: You could be sleeping in your own bed right now. — REUTERS
Jan 23, 2016 at 4:09 PM ET

Planning on flying somewhere this weekend? Bad news: That plan’s probably going to change. Winter storm Jonas is preparing to dump two feet of snow and more, in places, across the American northeast, according to the National Weather Service. That will cripple many airlines meaning thousands of people won’t get to their destination on time—or at all, going on the 3,394 flight cancelations and counting, made by Friday afternoon.

Data from aviation tracker FlightAware, identifies the two airports in which most departing flights have been canceled – both of which are in North Carolina. Anyone planning to fly out of Raleigh-Durham International airport in the next 48 hours has the best chance of being disappointed. As of 5 p.m. ET it was the airport with the greatest proportion of cancellations in the U.S.—67 percent of all scheduled flights had been cancelled, meaning 129 planes were going nowhere. Charlotte/Douglas International became a similar hellscape, where airlines canceled 53 percent of flights. But because it’s a massive hub, that amounts to 396 canceled departures creating snowy nightmares for travelers. American, JetBlue, Regionals, ViaAir, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Southwest canceled all their flights out of KCLT Friday.

Four of the 10 airports where cancelations are piling up deepest are in North Carolina, where snow began falling Friday morning. While the state is expected to get less snow than some others, the areas served by these airports could be hit with more than 1/4 inch of treacherous ice, which threatens to snap trees and bring down power lines in Raleigh-Durham, according to the Weather Channel.

The cancelation epicenter will move north-east with the storm. There were fewer flights canceled at airports farther north on Friday where the storm had yet to make itself felt. At John F Kennedy airport in New York, just 5 percent or 35 flights were grounded, and in Philadelphia International 7 percent or 41 flights were going nowhere. Cast your mind forward to Saturday, however, and things will take a turn for the worse. The most pessimistic forecasts are suggesting more than 20 inches of show at La Guardia airport in New York, and Newark International is in an even worse position, according to some forecasting models.

American Airlines has noped out of every single flight at major airports such as Philadelphia, Reagan National, Baltimore/Washington International and Washington Dulles International, and we’re just getting started.