Last update: 8:15 p.m. ET.
Air travelers faced another day of disruptions Wednesday as winter weather snarled flights at dozens of U.S. airports. Airlines were waiving change fees for fliers in dozens of cities as the storm slowed flights from Texas and the Southeast into New England.
Nationwide, nearly 1,800 flights were canceled and another 5,300 delayed as of 8:15 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
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Those figures had worsened since morning as snow and ice affected airports from the Deep South to New England. Some airports along the Gulf Coast struggled to resume flights Wednesday because of icy runway conditions, though all had managed to do so by late afternoon.
Below-freezing temperatures were reported as far south as Florida, where snow, freezing rain and temperatures in the 20s were reported at some locations in the western part of the state. Farther north, temperatures fell to the single digits in the Midwest and Great Lakes. That cold weather also could contribute to flight back-ups as airplanes are de-iced prior to takeoff.
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Wednesday’s poor weather came after more than 1,600 flights were canceled Tuesday from the same system. In total, about 3,000 have now been canceled since the storm began snarling flights on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s storm – combined with the lingering disruptions from Tuesday – left fliers facing disruptions across a large part of the South and East.
Flights at several southern airports -- including New Orleans and Mobile, Ala. -- were grounded for part of Wednesday afternoon because of icy runway conditions.
Flights have since resumed as warmer weather -- relatively speaking -- moved back in. The Mobile airport said shortly before noon local time that "surface ice at Mobile Regional has melted (and) the airfield will open at noon."
In Atlanta, flights were operating at the world’s busiest airport, but with disruptions. More than 700 flights were canceled Wednesday, representing close to 25% of the day’s schedule there. About 260 flights were canceled there a day earlier. Delta operates its busiest hub at the airport while Southwest also has a significant operation there.
Boston’s Logan International Airport was another airport that saw a spike in delays Wednesday, with about 200 cancellations as of 8:15 p.m. ET.
Other airports in the Northeast were seeing significant disruptions as poor weather buffeted the region Wednesday. That included the three big airports serving New York City. Cancellations were tracking above normal at Washington Reagan National and Baltimore/Washington, though many of those cancellations were to other hard-hit airports in cites such as Boston, New York and Atlanta.
The Carolinas also saw snow – and flight cancellations – on Wednesday. More than 160 flights – about 33% of the schedule – had been canceled at the Raleigh-Durham airport. About 160 flights (10% of the schedule) had been grounded at Charlotte’s busy airport as of 4:15 p.m.
Airports in Texas and Louisiana were still recovering from Tuesday’s disruptions, with the airports in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio still facing above-average delays and cancellations.
More than 10% of the day’s schedule had been grounded at Houston Hobby, for example, as that Southwest Airlines-dominated airport looked to resume normal schedules after Tuesday’s icy weather. It was a similar story at the United-dominated Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Aside from the earlier suspension of flights at New Orleans and Mobile, the airports serving Beaumont, Texas; Lafayette, La.; and Montgomery, Ala., also halted flights because of icy conditions earlier Wednesday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's flight-delay map. Flights had since resumed at those airports.
Scroll down for a links to details on flexible rebooking policies now in effect at big U.S. airlines:
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