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Chicago source of severe air travel delays

Update (4:35 p.m.): The FAA is reporting departure delays of between 16 and 30 minutes, and increasing, at JFK International.

Update (2:40 p.m.): The Federal Aviation Administration continues to report departure and arrival delays of less than 15 minutes for Washington's airports.

The center of flight delays Wednesday are centered around Chicago O'Hare International and Newark International. Chicago is reporting that arriving flights are being delayed an average of 2 hours 4 minutes due to snow and ice. Newark is experiencing delays of 26 minutes caused by wind.

The weather system affecting the Midwest could bring a wintry mix to the Washington area on Christmas Day, affecting any travelers with last-minute Christmas getaway plans, according to the Capital Weather Gang's forecast.

Update (12.23.09, 7:20 a.m.): In our enthusiasm for the new tarmac rules, we forgot to say those don't take effect for three months, so it may not do you much good this holiday season. The airlines know this is coming, so we can hope they'll abide now in the spirit of the season.

In good news, Dulles and National now are providing information on flight arrivals and departures on their Web sites.

Dulles arrivals
Dulles departures
National arrivals
National departures

The TSA used to provide wait times for airport security lines, but stopped doing it this year. Some airports do provide this information on their Web sites. For example, the Atanta airport provides it on its home page. We don't have that in Washington, so I would follow your airline recommendations for getting to the airport and checkinig in, adding some extra time just because it's the holidays and travel has been challenged by the backlog caused by the snowstorm. But check with your airline first to make sure your flight is on time.

BWI does have a new planning tool to help you determine how much time it will take to get to the airport.

Original post: If you still need to rebook a flight that was canceled because of the weekend snowstorm, the three major Washington airports advise you to check with your airline before you head to the airport. That way you can avoid long lines at airport ticket counters and the wait because a flight might not be available.

Because of the high demand for flight information, Dulles and National airports aren't even providing flight information on their Web sites, just referring people to the airlines. Links to airlines serving Dulles are here.Links to airlines serving National are here.

BWI continues to provide a listing of airline arrivals and delays on its Web site. The majority of the flights appear to be arriving and departing on time, according to the scrollable display. Information on airlines serving BWI is here.

You can check flight delays on the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site. This map provides a quick update at conditions around the country with short explanations of any events affecting flight operations.

Here are some links to what some airlines are doiing to help you rebook, and some advice they are offering for holiday travel:

If you make it onto a plane that gets delayed, there are new rules governing how long the airline can keep you sitting on the tarmac. Read Sholnn Freeman's article from Tuesday's Post.

Keep an eye on the weather for the days you plan to travel by seeing what the Capital Weather Gang has to say.

By Michael Bolden  |  December 22, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Airports , holiday travel  | Tags: airport  
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Thanks for the info, Mr. Bolden. NWA says my flight is still on time to depart from DCA tonight, but given the photos of the airport check-in lines from yesterday, I'm wondering how early I should plan on getting to the airport to check my luggage.

Posted by: EFroh | December 22, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I also have a 6 p.m. flight out of DCA and need to check a bag. Already checked in online with boarding pass and prepaid for my luggage check. Are the baggage check lines still really long? How much time should I allow to get there before my flight?

Posted by: baorange | December 22, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

You should know, the article mentions: "The rules go into effect in about three months, officials said." (end of fifth paragraph) So unless the airline keeps you on the tarmac for three months, the rules aren't "help with holiday air travel."

Posted by: JohnOfCharleston | December 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

One thing that bugs me in the plane is the people who cough and sneeze without restraint. Most times they do that without consideration for the people sitting next to them and pass on their germs to us. I’ve wished for some form of protection from the microbes they are spewing out. I could wear a face mask but it is so uncomfortable and moreover it scares away everyone. So I came up with a product idea and patented it. I want to know how many others like me will find this product useful and so created a survey. Just fill it up and give me your valuable feedback. Thanks!

Posted by: MichelleRand | December 22, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

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