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Travel and Weather: Thousands face Tampa Bay travel trouble as blizzard hits northeast

10:58 AM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Winter Weather: Thousands face Tampa Bay travel trouble

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Tampa, Florida -- Thousands of passengers with travel plans that include Tampa Bay and the Northeastern U.S. face flights canceled by the coming blizzard.

As of 9 a.m., airlines had canceled 36 flights scheduled to go in or out of Tampa International Airport on Friday. Nine flights through TIA have already been canceled for Saturday, as well.

More canceled flights could be in the future before the day is over. If Boston's Logan Airport or any of New York City's three major airports are completely shut down due to snow, that number could grow.

The 36 canceled TIA flights make up a fraction of the 2,785 takeoffs canceled across the United States for Friday. A large portion of those flights involve New York City's three big airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty.

These cancelations could impact Tampa Bay travelers who never plan to go near the Northeast. When planes fail to make earlier flights, they're not available to fly later legs between other cities.

For example, a jet that never flies from Boston to Tampa because of a cancelation isn't available later to take people from Tampa to Denver.

While it's difficult to tally the exact number of people stuck reshuffling their plans because of the snow, it's possible to make a very rough estimate.

The average U.S. flight carries about 113 passengers, according to AirlineFinancials.com. At that rate, the canceled flights through TIA impact more than 4,000 people.

Friday's cancelations nationwide add up to around 315,000 people affected by the blizzard conditions set to sweep into New England and the Northeastern United States late Friday and into Saturday.

Major airlines have all activated their more flexible weather policies. That change allows passengers to switch flights to avoid the weather without being forced to pay a fee.

Follow 10 News Reporter Grayson Kamm on twitter @graysonkamm

Grayson Kamm, 10 News