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Airlines ground planes as monster snowstorm approaches in USA
01 February
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Airlines canceled flights by the hundreds for Tuesday as a massive snowstorm of historic proportions began to coat the nation's heartland with a thick blanket of snow.

The storm will affect about three quarters of the United States, from New England to New Mexico. Travel will likely be difficult to impossible in many areas," the National Weather Service said.

Southwest Airlines canceled 337 flights for Tuesday, said spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger on Monday night adding that the situation will be assessed throughout the day. Passengers with reservations for travel through Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and other cities are eligible to reschedule their flights.

AirTran Airways scrubbed 140 flights for Tuesday and has canceled another 38 flights on Wednesday, spokesman Christopher White said. AirTran passengers traveling through two dozen cities in the region including Chicago, St. Louis and Boston can change their reservation without penalty.

Delta Air Lines canceled "many" flights, according to spokeswoman Heather Faulkner, who said the situation will be updated Tuesday morning.

United Airlines has issued travel waivers for passengers traveling to, from or through Chicago and 17 states in the Midwest and Northeast as well as five Canadian cities. Travelers will be able to alter their plans without fees or get a full refund if their flight is canceled.

American Airlines is allowing travelers who are scheduled to fly on Monday through Thursday from more than 30 airports in the Midwest including those in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to change their plans without penalty.

Snowfall, primarily on Tuesday, could be more than 12 inches in parts of Missouri and Illinois. Chicago area airports are monitoring the forecasts and preparing accordingly, officials said.

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