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NASA pictures as 'Frankenstorm' leads to cancelled flights

Thousands have had their American travel plans wrecked today as destructive Hurricane Sandy bore down on the US East Coast.

British Airways had to axe all its flights to and from New York, Newark, Baltimore, Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia.

This amounted to around 20 return flights, with a decision due to be made later today about tomorrow's BA services to and from the American East Coast cities.

Virgin Atlantic also had to scrap its East Coast services today, cancelling flights to and from New York, Newark, Boston and Washington.

Virgin also axed flights from Newark and New York that had been due to arrive at Heathrow tomorrow morning.

A Virgin spokeswoman said: "Details of arrangements for affected passengers, including rebooking and extended hotel-stay compensation can be found on our website.

"Our flights to America had been very busy at the beginning of this week due to the half-term school holiday. It's very unfortunate."

A BA spokesman said: "Our other US flights are operating normally and we are also able to fly as usual to Toronto and Montreal in Canada.

"We'll be in contact later with our people in America before deciding on tomorrow's US East Coast flights."

UK airports were advising passengers due to travel to the US to contact their airline today before travelling.