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Experts: More Canceled Flights at City's Major Airports This Winter Than in Last Two Winters Combined

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TWC News: Experts: More Canceled Flights at City's Major Airports This Winter Than in Last Two Winters Combined
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Airlines have canceled more flights at New York's three major airports recently than during the same time period in the last two years combined, according to experts.

According to experts with FlightAware.com, the city has been hit with the second-most flight cancellations in the country.

FlightAware.com puts Newark at the top of the metro's commercial airports, with 6,358 flight cancellations since December 21 of last year.

The flight tracking service puts LaGuardia Airport second with 5,289 and John F. Kennedy International Airport a distant third with 3,504.

"Part of it's the mix of operators," said Mark Duell of FlightAware.com. "United, being the dominant operator at Newark, has a little more tendency to cancel a lot of flights in advance, and they were also hit with a lot of cancellations at their Chicago hub that impacted flights in the whole area, including at Newark. LaGuardia having more than JFK is likely that they're slower to recover from snow. They suffer the same problem as Washington-Reagan, where they don't have a lot of room to plow the snow to when they get a lot of snow on the runways."

For all three, though, this year is far more severe in terms of grounding flights than in the last three years.

According to FlightAware.com, there have been 15,140 flight cancellations this winter from December 21 through February 17. There were 6,350 for the same time period in 2012-2013, 2,996 for the same time period in 2011-2012 and 10,245 for the same time period in 2010-2011.

This winter, the city's airports have been the second-most affected in the country. Chicago is the worst, with 16,783 cancellations, according to FlightAware.com.

By comparison, Washington, D.C. has had 8,735 cancellations, Atlanta has had 7,104 cancellations, Dallas has had 4,466 cancellations, Houston has had 4,632 cancellations and Boston has had 2,910 cancellations.

"A lot of it's the large number of operations in New York," Duell said. "You've got three very busy airports that are served by a lot of airlines, each with their own strategy. Most of the other big cities, like Atlanta or Dallas or even the D.C. area, are only really served by one major airline, and everyone else has a small operation there."

According to an analysis by the Associated Press, the U.S. this year has seen the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, with more than 75,000 domestic flights canceled since December.

Part of that, though, is attributed to government regulations requiring more rest time for pilots and less wait time on the tarmac.

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