Airlines have canceled more than 1,500 flights ahead of a nor'easter. (WPIX.com )
As a nor'easter storm threatens the East Coast, the nation's airlines have canceled more than 1,500 flights scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
The cancellations, about 1,200 for Wednesday and 313 on Thursday, were primarily scheduled to fly in and out of Newark Liberty International in New Jersey and La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International airports in New York.
Cancellations were also made for flights in and out of Philadelphia International, Chicago's O'Hare International and Dallas/Fort Worth International airports, according to the flight-monitoring site Flightaware.com.
The nor'easter bearing down on the East Coast is expected to be much weaker than Superstorm Sandy. But experts say airlines are being cautious by moving planes out of harm's way and avoiding stranding thousands of passengers on delayed flights.
The U.S. Department of Transportation adopted stiff penalties in 2010 for airlines that keep passengers stuck on a delayed flight for more than three hours.
Several airlines, including United, Delta and American airlines, have announced they will waive change fees for passengers whose flights were canceled. The airlines urge fliers to check the status of their flights online.
FAA recommends seat inspections on some airlines
United Airlines becomes first U.S. carrier to fly Dreamliner
Fliers in December and January are more likely to lose luggage
Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin