Under threat of snow, airlines are preemptively canceling flights at the three New York-area airports for both today and tomorrow.
To me, this looks like a test of the assertion that airlines would cancel a larger than normal number of flights with bad weather merely forecast, rather than raging, to underscore their opposition to the Transportation Department rule that imposes severe fines on carriers for stranding passengers on tarmacs for over three hours. The rule has effectively ended so-called tarmac strandings for domestic carriers (international carriers are not covered by the rule, and have been responsible for several egregiously lengthy strandings in recent snowstorms).
On the other hand, airlines do routinely cancel some flights preparation for seriously bad weather so that x-number of airplanes and crews are not frozen in place if bad weather does hit.
As of 9 a.m. EST today at the hilariously named Newark Liberty International Airport, 216 flights have been canceled -- and 145 flights scheduled for tomorrow have also been scrubbed. At Kennedy, it's 101 today and 97 tomorrow. La Guardia: 172 today and 114 tomorrow.
Data as usual from FlightStats.com