Storm Warnings: How Do Airlines Know If It's Safe to Fly in Bad Weather?
With extreme weather targeting the East Coast, travelers wonder if their holiday flights will be canceled.
Several hundred flights have already been canceled because of inclement weather in the Midwest, with Texas-based American Airlines and its regional carrier, American Eagle, hardest hit.
First the good news: Your plane is certified to fly in "extreme conditions," according to Boeing spokesman John Dern—probably far more extreme than anything this nor'easter can throw your way.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a long list of flight requirements for commercial aircraft, which manufacturers generally exceed. Many of the rules are designed to ensure that your plane can operate in wind and snow.
Weather-related flight cancellations seldom happen because a plane can't handle the prevailing conditions, according to veteran airline captain and aviation analyst John Nance. "Usually your flight can't operate because