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Airlines cancel thousands of flights due to winter storm on East Coast

A view of empty gates at Charlotte-Douglas Airport at 3 a.m. American Airlines shut down its operations at its Charlotte hub due to the winter storm.
A view of empty gates at Charlotte-Douglas Airport at 3 a.m. American Airlines shut down its operations at its Charlotte hub due to the winter storm. Courtesy of Charlotte-Douglas Airport

More than 3,600 flights have been canceled in and out of airports on the East Coast as airlines prepare for Winter Storm Jonas.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines said it has shut down its hub in Charlotte due to icy conditions and canceled 2,000 flights on Friday. It plans to wind down operations at Washington, D.C., area and Philadelphia airports Friday afternoon and has canceled all operations at those airports for Saturday.

“We’ve been proactively making changes to schedule due to the weather forecast,” said American spokesman Ross Feinstein, adding that its flexible travel policy covers 46 airports, allowing customers to change flights without penalty. “We’re not going to have people camped out at airports.”

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines said it has canceled 500 flights systemwide for Friday and an additional 600 flights on Saturday. It also plans to shut down operations at Washington, D.C., airports Friday afternoon and cease operations at Philadelphia and New York area airports Friday evening.

“We are proactively allowing customers in some cities affected by the winter storm to rebook in the original class of service or travel standby,” the airline said in a statement.

According to FlightStats, airlines have canceled 3,682 flights nationwide. There are only 43 arrivals and 48 departures canceled at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport as of 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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