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Hurricane affects Frankfurt, Heathrow flights

By MARK PATTON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 27, 2011

WIESBADEN, Germany — While Hurricane Irene continues her advance up the U.S. East Coast, travelers in Europe who are headed stateside are also feeling her wrath.

At Frankfurt Airport, at least six flights departing for the U.S. had been canceled Saturday and another 18 flights scheduled to depart on Sunday had been nixed, according to airport spokeswoman Petra Karadut.

Karadut said the situation is fluid and as Irene continues to edge up the East Coast, passengers should “contact their airline to check on flights.”

Most of the early cancellations Saturday were for flights bound for New York City and New Jersey, said Karadut.

Officials at the Frankfurt Airport United Service Organizations lounge said that, as of Saturday afternoon, they haven’t noticed more traffic than usual. The USO is an oft-visited spot for traveling troops and their families.

All five New York City-area airports were shut down to arriving flights on Saturday in anticipation of Irene: John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in New York City; Stewart International in the city’s northern suburbs; and Newark Liberty International and Teterboro in New Jersey. The Federal Aviation Administration, which has the final say, gave no indication Saturday when operations might return to normal.

A slew of flights were listed as canceled on London’s Heathrow Airport’s website Saturday. Heathrow officials were unavailable for comment, but multiple flights along the eastern seaboard, from Boston to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, were canceled.

On Friday, Delta Air Lines announced that it would cancel 1,300 flights over the weekend and JetBlue Airways announced it was dumping almost 900 flights through Monday. American Airlines canceled 265 flights on Saturday with more flights expected to be scrubbed, including flights in and out of Washington, D.C.

United Airlines said it is canceling about 2,300 flights for Saturday and Sunday, and suspending operations at JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports. U.S. Airways canceled 311 Saturday flights and 1,000 Sunday flights.

pattonm@estripes.osd.mil