It's a sad day to be a Denver Broncos fan trying to get out of Super Bowl country.
The day after the Broncos' crushing 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, many fans trying to fly out of the New York region were stuck.
"It's a plain ugly day to travel through New York and Philadelphia especially," CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. "Delays on average are already two to four hours, with a lot of cancellations, and the snow is not expected to stop until late afternoon or evening, so this is not going to get any better any time soon."
The New York area's three major airports were facing more than 900 flight cancellations as of 12:15 p.m. ET Monday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.com. Philadelphia International Airport, often used by New Jersey travelers, had more than 350 cancellations. That's the bulk of the more than 1,500 flights canceled Monday within, into or out of the United States, according to FlightAware.com tracking data.
Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports are preparing cots and pillows for travelers who may need them overnight, according to Cheryl Albiez, spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates all three airports.
"Monday morning is one of the busiest times for air travel -- business travelers pack flights as they start the week," Daniel Baker, FlightAware's chief executive officer, wrote via e-mail. "With tens of thousands of Super Bowl fans planning to return home on Monday, there's not a lot of available seats to accommodate everyone who was displaced in the wave of canceled flights this morning."
Delta Air Lines is feeling the impact most at its New York hub, according to spokesman Morgan Durrant. As of 11 a.m. Monday, 314 flights had been canceled, mostly on its regional carrier Delta Connection, he said.
On Sunday afternoon, the airline issued a waiver for New York, Philadelphia and Washington-area flights Monday, with rebooking by Friday.
JetBlue Airways is also waiving change and cancellations fees and fare differences for customers traveling Monday to and from affected cities, including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark and the New York airports, according to JetBlue spokeswoman Sharon Jones. Customers can rebook through Thursday or, in the case of a canceled flight, opt for a refund.
Check with your airline for your flight status before paying your hotel tab and leaving for the airport. Many airlines have travel waivers in place that allow one fee-free itinerary change. The Federal Aviation Administration's website keeps tabs on airport delays at fly.faa.gov.
"I wouldn't want to be a Bronco fan who flew from Denver to see the Super Bowl," Hennen said. "You fly all that way to watch your team get destroyed, wait three or four hours for public transportation to get you back to your hotel and now sit at the airport for another four-hour delay."