More than 4,000 flights canceled in advance of storm

BOSTON (AP) — Airlines are generally shutting down their operations this afternoon at the three big New York-area airports, as well as in Boston, Providence and other Northeastern airports.

They're hoping to resume flights tomorrow -- but that may depend on the severity of the massive storm that is threatening to dump up to three feet of snow in parts of the region.

The flight-tracking website FlightAware says airlines have already canceled more than 4,000 flights through tomorrow.

Many travelers are already steering clear of the region, and airlines are waiving the usual fees to change flights in the affected area.

Airlines are increasingly automating the process of re-booking passengers. Delta is rolling out software it calls "VIPER" -- for Virtual Inconvenienced Passenger Expedited Reprotection -- to find replacement flights for passengers whose flights have been canceled -- even if it means changing flights at an airport that could be hundreds of miles out of the way.

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189-a-09-(Sunayana Dyer, passenger at Logan International Airport, in AP interview)-"make it out"-Sunayana Dyer says she and her family are happy they were able to change their Boston-to-Cincinnati flight to this morning as they start their long journey to India. (8 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *189 (02/08/13)>> 00:09 "make it out"

188-a-10-(Amy Wells, passenger at Logan International Airport, in AP interview)-"before the snow"-Amy Wells says she was able to get an earlier flight out of Boston to Utah. ((refers to Thursday as "yesterday" and Friday as "this morning" and "this afternoon")) (8 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *188 (02/08/13)>> 00:10 "before the snow"

APPHOTO PAMR101: Two flights to Boston are listed as canceled at Philadelphia International Airport, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia. Airlines have already canceled more than 2,700 Friday flights as they get ready for a storm that threatens to dump up to 3 feet of snow from New York City to Boston. Flight-tracking website FlightAware shows 728 cancellations at the three big airports in the New York area. Another 191 flights to or from Boston have been scrubbed, and 137 in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (8 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO PAMR101 (02/08/13)>>

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