Monday, January 10, 2011

Nearly All Flights in Atlanta Canceled; Cancellations Also Mounting for Tuesday As Big Storm Heads Toward New York

Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, the busiest airport in the country in terms of flights handled, is virtually shut today as ice and snow hit the city. As of 6 p.m. EST, 2,211 of today's 2,570 flights have been canceled.

And tomorrow is also grim: Already, about 900 departures and arrivals have been canceled at Atlanta.

Cancellations are also hitting other airports. At Charlotte, 527 flights had been scrubbed by late afternoon. (Data from

The storm is expected to hit the New York area starting early Tuesday night, with snow accumulations of 10 or more inches possible. Right now, the New York airports are operating with delays, partly as a result of the Atlanta mess, but only the hilariously named Newark Liberty International airport is reporting cancellations, in this case about 70.

AirTran canceled all of its Atlanta flights. The airlines canceling the most flights in Atlanta are Delta, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, which operates Delta Connection flights, and AirTran, which Southwest is in the process of acquiring.

Because of the large number of regional connecting flights it handles as a hub in the Southeast, Atlanta is the busiest airport in the country. (In fact, it's the busiest airport in the world in terms of the number of flights it handles).

In Atlanta, even MARTA has shut down, canceling all bus service today and maybe tomorrow too.

Meanwhile, the Loews hotel chain has said that it is offering a special rate of $139 a night at its new Loews Atlanta hotel through Wednesday. Passengers stranded in Atlanta might want to take note.


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