Planning to Fly During Irene? Airports Prepare for a Washout

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Al Diaz / Miami Herald / MCT / Getty Images

Sanjay Roy, of Miami, checks the departure board as flights at Miami International Airport are canceled due to Hurricane Irene, Thursday, August 25, 2011.

If you’re planning to fly this weekend, it’s best to check on your flight before you leave for the airport.

Airports are firm in telling travelers to check with their airline before heading to the airport. The individual carriers decide on flight cancellations and only the airline has the power to rebook a flight. Fortunately for impacted travelers, all major carriers have agreed to waive ticket-change fees for fliers looking to adjust their plans prior to Irene’s arrival.

Bloomberg News reports that more than 8,000 flights have been canceled, as airlines take no chances in the potentially nasty weather. Most airlines have well-publicized these cancellations, but in the event that fliers get stuck in the terminal, airports are cutting no corners in their preparatory procedures. Here’s how each of the four major metropolitan areas affects are dealing with the flight risk:

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New York

Along with the mass transit closure in New York City, as of noon Saturday all of the region’s airports are closed to arriving flights. Departing flights still have the potential to take off, but most have been canceled already. The Port Authority, which is in charge of JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, says the reason for shuttering arrivals is due to the lack of public transportation coverage throughout New York City. They are tweeting updates on the closure via @NY_NJAirports.

The Port Authority has beefed up the amenities in each airport to care for stranded travelers. They note that additional staff has been provided to each airport to help with airport operations, and each location has been stocked with emergency supplies from bottled water to diapers to pillows.

Philadelphia

According to FlightAware.com and Bloomberg News, Philadelphia International Airport plans to close at 6 p.m. Saturday. Many flights have already been canceled.

Washington, D.C.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is reporting via Twitter at @dcairports that they have no plans to close either Dulles or Reagan National airports, but many airlines have already decided to cancel a majority of their flights for both today and tomorrow.

CNBC reports that all flights in or out of Maryland airports have been canceled, leading to a de facto closure of Baltimore Washington International Airport.

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Boston

Boston’s Logan Airport, located on the Atlantic Coast, has brought in extra pumps in anticipation of a storm surge. Massport, the company that runs Logan Airport, says they don’t expect a flood but are taking precautions by bringing in additional staffers and equipment. They note that many flights are canceled for the remainder of Saturday, and Sunday’s schedule will be thinned out. Spokesman Matthew Brelis says it will be “extremely tough to get out of Logan on Sunday.”

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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