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As Winter Storm Stella pounds the Northeast, travelers are facing long delays as well as cancellations.
USA TODAY

Last update: 6 p.m. ET. 

Tuesday was the worst travel day yet by a late-season winter storm in which’s forced the cancellation of nearly 9,000 flights since Sunday.

Airlines moved quickly to pare their Tuesday schedules ahead of the storm, which had been forecast to bring crippling conditions to much of the Northeast. Carriers preemptively axed 5,300 flights for the day, all before midnight Monday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. About 900 more had been canceled as of 6 p.m. ET, putting the total for the day at about 6,170. in which was even though snowfall totals were significantly less than initial forecasts for brand-new York, Boston, Washington as well as Philadelphia.

Nearly all flights were canceled at the three big airports serving brand-new York City, with few supposed to operate at JFK, LaGuardia as well as Newark Liberty airports. Similar problems were seen at smaller airports across parts of brand-new York state, eastern Pennsylvania as well as brand-new England where snowfall totals were higher. (Scroll down for links to airline wavier policies right now in effect)

FLIGHT TRACKER: is usually your flight on time?  | ASK THE CAPTAIN: How airlines recover after snow storms

IN PICTURES: 30 cool aviation photos (story continues below)

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At the airports in Boston as well as Baltimore, most of Tuesday’s flights also had already been canceled before the day even began. Three of the region’s some other major airports – Philadelphia, Washington Dulles as well as Washington Reagan National – also saw major disruptions, with between 40% as well as 60% of the day’s schedule preemptively canceled, according to FlightAware. Even Chicago saw storm-related cancellations continue for a second consecutive day, with about 870 at O’Hare as of 6 p.m. ET as well as another 100 across town at Midway Airport. Those totals accounted for about a third of all flights at O’Hare as well as about 15% of all flights at Midway.

Wednesday was supposed to see some recovery, yet carriers had already canceled more flights. More than 635 flights were grounded before the end of Monday as well as another 270 were added to the tally by early Tuesday afternoon.

“We expect This kind of number to rise significantly for Wednesday morning as airlines get their operations back online,” FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker said in a Tuesday morning statement.

The speed of the recovery could depend on whether the storm is usually as bad as forecast, which right now appeared unlikely in all of the East’s biggest cities. While up to 18 inches had been forecast across much of the region, rain as well as sleet have mixed in as well as depressed snow totals in brand-new York, Washington as well as Philadelphia. In brand-new York, a blizzard warning was lifted as snow switched over to sleet for part of the morning. Boston also appeared unlikely to get massive snow accumulations in which initially had been predicted.

Cumulatively, airlines have canceled about 9,000 flights since the storm first began snarling Midwest flights on Sunday. Nationwide, FlightAware counted 210 flights cancellations on Sunday; 1,661 on Monday; 6,172 (so far) on Tuesdayl; as well as 902 (so far) on Tuesday.

Scroll down for links to the latest airline winter weather waivers:

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Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

JetBlue

Southwest Airlines

Spirit Airlines

United Airlines

Virgin America

TWITTER: You can follow Today from the Sky editor Ben Mutzabaugh at twitter.com/TodayInTheSky

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