Airlines, Airports Creep Back to Life in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, Nov. 1: All major NYC airports are now open.

Wednesday, Oct. 31. 9:30 a.m.: As Hurricane Sandy dissipates, airlines and airports are slowly coming back.

With more than 19,500 flights cancelled since Sunday, airports on the East Coast began offering limited service from certain airports. One of those airports – New York’s LaGuardia – is still closed, due to extensive damage and flooding. Meanwhile, JetBlue which is already waiving change fees to those affected by Sandy also began waiving fare differences, as long as new flights are booked by Nov. 14.

LISTEN: Air travel expert Rick Seaney’s canceled flight advice.

Tuesday, Oct. 30. 9 a.m.: As of Tuesday morning, flights are being cancelled into Wednesday, upping the total to 15,000 cancelled flights.

Monday, Oct. 29. 4 p.m.: The numbers keep growing, as more 13,000 flights have been cancelled.

Monday, Oct. 29. 8 a.m.: Traveling in or out of the East Coast today? No, you’re not.

More than 7,500 flights have been cancelled in advance of Hurricane Sandy’s upcoming landfall predicted for Monday night, and the number continues to grow. Domestic and international carriers are pulling plans off the coast – dubbed the strike zone – and getting them as far away from the storm as possible.

“With airlines pre-canceling thousands of flights, fewer people will be stuck this week trying to return home and airlines have had plenty of time to position their aircraft out of harms way in preparation to handle the backlog when things calm down,” said FareCompare co-founder and airfare analyst Rick Seaney.

World Traveler Shares How to Deal with Flight Delays and Cancellations

Airlines have already waived change and cancellation fees for any flights affected by Sandy, and while flights may only be down until Tuesday, the effects are expected to last until the weekend.

“It’ll take us a couple days, probably until at least Thursday, if not Friday, to get back to normal with something this large,” Jet Blue COO Rob Maruster told

Seaney agrees.

“Sandy is is happening at a relatively slow travel time period, and barring significant airport damage, flight patterns should be back to normal by the end of the weekend,” Seaney said.

Bad Weather, Flight Delays and Cancelled Flights – What To Do Next?

Travelers on the East Coast are advised to stay away from the airports if possible, as flights are at a standstill. Travelers outside of the area are urged to check their flight status before departing for the airport. While your flight may not be heading to an area where Sandy is expected to hit, your flight could still be impacted.

FareCompare will continue to update travelers on Hurricane Sandy as travel-related news comes in. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more news and information.


Published: October 29, 2012