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Travel plans wrecked by superstorm
Airlines at at Heathrow Airport have had to cancel flights to the USA as Hurricane Sandy approaches the east coast
Thousands of Britons have had their American travel plans wrecked as Hurricane Sandy bears 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 about Tuesday's BA services to and from the American East Coast cities.
Virgin Atlantic also had to scrap its East Coast services, 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 on Tuesday 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 that this major storm has come when it has."
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 before travelling.
Those Britons - and others - due to take internal flights in America were finding that more than 7,000 services had been axed. Among carriers which had to cancel flights were US Airways, American Airlines and Delta.
Britons already in America were contending with shut-down public transport, with bus and trains services in New York and Philadelphia among those affected.
Having wreaked havoc in the Caribbean, Sandy was set to affect a 800-mile front from the East Coast to the Great Lakes, with states of emergency declared from North Carolina to Connecticut.