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  1. ITV Report

Storm Stella: Thousands of flights cancelled as US braces for blizzard

People struggle to walk through heavy winds and snow in Boston. Credit: AP

Thousands of flights have been cancelled as a "life-threatening" blizzard hits the US.

Around 50 million people have been told to batten down the hatches and prepare for Storm Stella.

The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Snow has already started to fall in some areas and there are forecasts of up to 2ft expected by early Wednesday.

Temperatures have plummeted 15 to 30 degrees below normal for this time of year.

A mother and daughter glide along the pavement on cross-country skis in New York state. Credit: AP
People play golf in the snow in NYC Credit: AP

Several states have already declared a state of emergency, including New York and New Jersey.

The weather service’s office near Philadelphia called the storm “life-threatening” and warned people to “shelter in place.”

At least 5,300 flights have been cancelled, including many from the UK to parts of the US.

A White House visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been delayed until Friday because of the storm.

Will your travel be affected?

  • British Airways

British Airways said their flights are "significantly affected" and have cancelled flights to New York JFK, Newark and Philadelphia on Tuesday.

It added there will be no flights from London Heathrow to Boston.

There will still be some flights to/from Washington and Baltimore but schedules may be revised.

If you no longer wish to travel on Tuesday 14 or Wednesday 15 March, even if your flight is still due to operate to/from these six major East Coast airports, you are able to change your booking free of charge and move it back to a date up to and including Friday 17 March. This policy also applies to American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair flights on these routes.

We are sorry for the disruption to your travel plans and are doing all we can to minimise the effect the weather forecast will have on our US operations.

– British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has cancelled flights from Heathrow to New York JFK and some flights to Boston and Washington.

Virgin Atlantic say on their website that customers booked to travel to, from and through Boston, Washington, New York JFK and Newark on 15 - 17 March 2017, who prefer to rebook may do so without penalty.

It added that rebooking is subject to availability in the same cabin for flights and travel must be completed on or before 24 March 2017.

  • American Airlines

American Airlines is advising passengers they may be able to change their trip with no change fee due to severe weather.

  • Air Canada

Many flights have been cancelled - including some flights from Heathrow Airport - and it has listed all the affected airports on its website.

  • United Airlines

Many flights are cancelled and United will allow you to change your flight due to severe weather if you are travelling from an affected airport.

Some Lufthansa flights from Heathrow Airport to the US are also operated by United Airlines and have been cancelled.