Blog: Winter storms mean tough decisions for airlines, airports

Airlines and airports have differing responses to winter storms, Scott McCartney writes. On Sunday, for instance, about half the scheduled flights got off the ground at JFK and LaGuardia, while Newark operated more than 70% of its scheduled flights. Variables such as runway length, snow-clearing equipment and airline operations can help account for such differences, according to McCartney. Meanwhile, airlines typically cut regional flights ahead of mainline flights in order to inconvenience the fewest possible passengers, and some airlines cut more aggressively in order to avoid tarmac delays, flight diversions and so forth, he adds.

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