(image by Scott Olson/Getty)
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
Ed. Note> Looking at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport's website, there currently are departure delays, and only one arrival delay coming to CAE.
Flight cancellations are piling up in the Great Lakes this morning (Feb. 22) as a strong winter storm moves east out of the Great Plains. On Thursday, that same storm caused more than 1,000 and forced the Kansas City airport to close for much of the day.
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Nationwide, FlightStats counts more than 1,900 cancellations since Thursday, with the bulk of that tally coming at airport's in the storms path.
Among the airports taking the biggest hits today is Chicago O'Hare -- the nation's second-busiest airport and a hub for both American and United. More than 400 flights already have been canceled there as of 9:20 a.m. ET today, according to FlightStats.
Fortunately, the worst of the storm appears to now be over in Chicago, providing hope to fliers that airlines schedules can rebound later today.
Still, FlightStats reports significant cancellation totals at a number of other airports in the Midwest today. They include St. Louis (56 arrivals and departures canceled), Cleveland (36), Chicago Midway (32) and Indianapolis (30). Nationwide, more than 700 flights have been canceled today as of 9:20 a.m. ET, according to FlightStats. That's on top of 1,235 from Friday.
However, conditions are expected to improve throughout the morning, so the worst could be over for air travelers today. Delays remain a nuisance, though, with severe to moderate delays being reported at many airports from Cleveland to Omaha and places in between.
Also still seeing many cancellations this morning: Kansas City International. That airport closed around 10 a.m. ET Thursday morning and was unable to reopen until 2 a.m. ET today. Flights are scheduled to resume at the airport around 9 a.m. ET, marking the airport's first passenger operations at the airport in nearly 24 hours.
About 65 flights have been canceled at Kansas City today as the airport works to restart flight schedules. That's on top of the 300 cancellations that were reported there Thursday, according to FlightStats. Many of today's cancellations are on morning departures for which the aircraft never arrived yesterday.
As has become common, most big airlines have issued flexible rebooking policies for fliers with flights to, from or through the central USA.
The fine print varies by airline, but most allow customers to make one change within a certain rebooking window without paying additional fare or change fees. Most carriers' winter-weather waivers cover a large chuck of geography - including airports from Utah to Illinois and most places in between. Some carriers' waivers extend as far as Wyoming and Arizona to the west and Pennsylvania to the East.