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Flight cancellations will affect area for days

Friday - 2/14/2014, 5:20am  ET

airport reagan national (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Here's what Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport looked like Thursday. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

'A tough go'

USA Today's Ben Mutzabaugh

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WASHINGTON - Even though the worst snowstorm in years has passed through the region, the rash of flight cancellations caused by bad weather nationwide is going to have a ripple effect for days.

That's the word from USA Today travel writer Ben Mutzabaugh, who told WTOP that the last hit of snow Thursday evening made things even worse.

"We were looking at mid-Friday morning" before flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Dulles International Airport resumed something approaching a normal schedule, Mutzabaugh says.

"Even under ideal conditions," Mutzabaugh says, "9 a.m. would be the (earliest) you could even look at a normal schedule." After the last sting of the storm, he predicts, it'll be "mid-afternoon at the earliest."

People looking to catch a flight on Friday were already going to have a rough time of it. Now, he says, "if you have a flight scheduled this weekend, you just might want to reconsider your plans."

Mutzabaugh points out that 12,000 flights have been canceled since Monday, and that means a lot of planes aren't where they're supposed to be on Friday morning.

"There aren't going to be many planes" at local airports because so many planes didn't come in. "All of those flights still have to arrive."

And if you haven't purchased a ticket yet, you're in even worse luck.

All the way into mid-Monday, Mutzabaugh predicts, "finding an empty seat is going to be like striking gold."

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