Flights canceled as winter storm strikes East Coast

Airlines have canceled nearly 450 flights so far today as a nasty winter storm of rain and snow are bearing down on the East Coast on the eve of Thanksgiving, traditionally one of the busiest traveling days of the year.

FlightStats.com reported 443 U.S. flights canceled and 1,362 flights delayed this morning, with much of the disruption at airports in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Earlier this week, United Continental Holdings Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. all waived their customary fees for flight changes for travel today, allowing passengers to rebook flights ahead of the storm.

Forecasts for snow accumulations on the East Coast range from four inches to a foot.

Because of the advanced forecasts, the storms are having an “isolated” impact at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee , according to airport spokesman Harold Mester.

“There have been storms that have been much worse than this,” Mester added.

Still, passengers traveling to, through or from airports in the Northeast are feeling the effects of the storms, Mester said. All airlines at Mitchell Airport are offering customers a one-time change to their reservation without a fee if they are scheduled to travel via impacted airports. Passengers might also choose to travel on Thanksgiving Day instead, Mester said.

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