By late afternoon Monday, nearly 1,200 flights in the U.S. had been cancelled and an additional 3,000 had been delayed, according to tracking service FlightAware.com.
Chicago was hit hardest, as the area was caught in a storm that was expected to drop up to 8 inches of snow by Monday night before moving into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Tuesday.
Nearly 500 departures were cancelled Monday at Chicago's two big airports, O'Hare and Midway, and many flights headed to the city were also scrubbed, FlightAware said. The Chicago department of aviation said most of the cancellations were proactive — announced ahead of the storm.
American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, and Southwest, which has a big operation at Midway, had cancelled more than 200 flights each. ExpressJet, which operates regional flights for bigger carriers, had dropped more than 180.
Through last week, airlines had cancelled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, the highest total since the U.S. Department of Transportation started keeping track in the winter of 1987-1988.