People battle wind, rain and sleet in the early hours of a major winter storm on February 8, 2013 in New York City. New York City and much of the Northeast is expected to get a foot or more of snow through Saturday afternoon with possible record-setting blizzard conditions expected in Boston, Massachusetts. Heavy snow warnings are in effect from New Jersey through southern Maine. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- With a winter storm poised to pummel the Northeast Friday
afternoon and into Saturday morning, travelers already are affected as
airlines, trains and bus lines preemptively canceled service as early
What to expect and some travel strategies for weathering the storm.
than 3,700 flights have been canceled since Thursday and that's likely
to increase throughout the afternoon. Monitor airlines' and airports'
websites (and Twitter feeds) for the latest updates, and expect delays
if you're calling an airline's 800 number.
Typically when weather
significantly disrupts service, the major airlines will issue refunds
or waive change fees. Delta, for instance, announced it would allow
customers in affected cities in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada a one-time change to their travel schedules without penalty.
which doesn't impose change fees, will allow travelers on affected
routes to alter their itineraries without incurring higher fares.
which operates New York and Boston hubs, also is waiving change fees
and fare differences for affected passengers through Sunday.
Amtrak has reduced service on the Acela Express and Northeast Regional routes between New York and Boston.
affected routes: Southbound service out of Boston South Station will be
suspended after the departures of of Northeast Regional Train 137 at
1:40 p.m. and Acela Express Train 2167 at 1:15 p.m.
service out of New York's Penn Station will be suspended after the
departures of Northeast Regional Train 86 at 12:30 p.m. and Acela
Express Train 2160 at 1:03 p.m.
Northeast Corridor service south of New York as well as Empire and Keystone services are running on schedule.
More schedule information and status updates are on the Amtrak.com home page.
passengers who decide not to travel can get a refund or a voucher for
future travel. Some reservations booked online can be modified or
canceled on Amtrak.com or by using the free Amtrak mobile app.
be notified of major service disruptions resulting in delays of 60
minutes or more to multiple trains on the Northeast Corridor, follow
@AmtrakNEC on Twitter.
Friday service between Boston and New York and Boston to
Newark/Philadelphia, along with some evening departures between New York
and Philadelphia; New York and Baltimore; and New York and Washington.
The line said it would automatically issue refunds to ticketed
Megabus also has cancellations in the Northeast and will honor refund requests or allow passengers to reschedule without penalty.
you find yourself stranded at an airport, ask area hotels about
discounted "distressed traveler rates" - but you may land an even better
price by going through Hotwire or Priceline.
ahead for extended delays by making sure you have a list of airline and
hotel contacts, electronic chargers and extra food in your carry-on bag
(which, in itself, is a good strategy for minimizing headaches on
unexpected tight connections).
Contributing: Laura Bly and Ben Mutzabaugh
Jayne Clark, USA TODAY