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      Winter storm cancels some flights at Syracuse Hancock Airport

      Airports, including Syracuse Hancock International Airport, are cancelling flights ahead of a major storm that's expected to dump a foot or more of snow in some parts of the state.

      Nearly all flights out of Hancock Airport, headed to the eastern seaboard, are canceled for Saturday. Several airlines at Hancock Airport are canceling flights for Friday afternoon.

      Cancellations were piling up all day and Syracuse Airport Commissioner Christina Callahan says the airlines have learned from past storms and are trying to keep travelers from getting stranded.

      "The airlines are cancelling flights in advance, letting passengers know not to show up at the airport where they're then stuck for hours or worst case scenario for days," says Callahan.

      Most airlines are offering to wave change fees for those who are impacted by the storm and need to reschedule their flights.

      Click here for Hancock's flight schedule.

      Click here for the latest information on the storm.

      After driving south from Watertown, Jeff and Carolyn Wheldon say they didn't want to give up on a Florida vacation when their flight out of Syracuse was cancelled. Instead, they found a flight out of Elmira and a rental car from Syracuse to get them started.

      "We knew everything was going to be ok when the car rental guy said we have a rear wheel drive Mustang to get you to Elmira," says Jeff Wheldon.

      Getting back into Syracuse was a challenge too. Keith Watkins took matters into his own hands after his flight to Syracuse was cancelled yesterday. Instead of scrambling for a new route, he got a rental car and drove 10 hours from Richmond to Syracuse.

      "I knew that rather than spending two or three days in Newark, I might as well be on the road and beat the storm last night," says Watkins.

      More than 1,700 flights have been canceled at New York City's three major airports.

      Flight-tracking website FlightAware showed that Newark Liberty International had 674 cancellations, JFK 528 and LaGuardia 538 as of Friday morning.

      It says most domestic carriers will suspend operations between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday. They will resume sometime Saturday afternoon. International carriers may continue to operate.

      Airlines issued so-called "weather waivers," allowing passengers flying in the storm-affected areas to change their flight date without paying a change fee.

      Airlines try to get ahead of big storms by canceling flights in advance.

      (Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)