Grounded flights, closed stock market, canceled presidential visit

225 DIA flights affected so far

DENVER - Hurricane Sandy is more than a thousand miles from Colorado, but our state will still be affected by what northeasters are calling the Frankenstorm.

Air travel

Airlines are canceling hundreds of flights to the Northeast. There have been 225 scheduled flights canceled at Denver International Airport on Sunday and Monday, said airport spokesman Laura Coale.

That may seem like a big number, but "on average 1,700 flights arrive and depart from DIA every day," Coale said.

Coale said an estimated 110 flight cancellations are expected at DIA on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, airlines are parking more planes overnight at DIA until the mega-storm blows over, Coale said.

Typically, there are about 10 aircraft parked overnight at DIA in overflow spots, she said.

Due to Hurricane Sandy, there will be about 30 additional aircraft parked overnight at DIA. This does not include aircraft parked at gates overnight.

Aviation experts tell 7NEWS it could take until several days after the storm for airlines to get caught up on canceled flights.

Passengers from all carriers are being told to expect cancellations and delays for days.

 "Is that an exaggeration?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.

 "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it could be a week before things get back to normal," said Jeff Price of Leading Edge Strategies. "The reason is, with the airline model today, there are virtually no extra seats. There are virtually no extra planes."

The cancelations stranded Steve Thiebault, who told 7NEWS he was trying to get home to Boston with a layover in Denver.

"My connecting flight was canceled, and now I’m stuck here until Wednesday," Thiebault said. "I even went to the customer service desk to try to see if I could get a flight as close as possible to the East Coast and rent a car from there, but all major airports are shut down."

Major carriers such as American Airlines, JetBlue and Delta plan to cancel all flights into and out of three area airports in New York, the nation's busiest airspace. Delays are rippling across the U.S. and the Atlantic, affecting travelers in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Paris.

Airport hotels reported they are starting to fill up with travelers forced to wait out the storm.

According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 6,800 flights had been canceled so far. Both Philadelphia International Airport and Newark International Airport, a hub for United Airlines, had more than 1,200 cancelations for Sunday and Monday.

If you have travel plans to the east coast, make sure you check with your airline before heading to the airport.

DIA recommends passengers download the free FlySmart travel app for the Blackberry, iPhone and Android.  FlySmart is the only travel app that features content downloaded directly from www.flydenver.com.

Stock Market

All major U.S. stock exchanges will remain closed with Hurricane Sandy due to make landfall on the East Coast.

There had been plans to allow electronic trading to go forward Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, but with all mass transit shut down, getting people in and out of New York was determined to be too dangerous.

Electronic trading will shut down 15 minutes early.

Though it's likely to carry little market relevance, the Dow Jones industrial futures are down 67 points to 12,987. The broader S&P futures have given up 8.10 points to 1,399.50. Nasdaq futures are down 18 points to 2,641.

Some companies are also postponing quarterly earnings reports scheduled for release early this week. So far, that includes Pfizer Inc. and Thomson Reuters.

Presidential Campaign

President Barack Obama canceled a planned rally in Colorado Springs because of Hurricane Sandy.

Instead of coming to Colorado on Tuesday, the president is returning to Washington to monitor the storm.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has also canceled campaign events. VP candidate Paul Ryan was scheduled to visit Colorado on Tuesday. However, the campaign said Monday morning they have canceled the Tuesday trip.

[More about the impact on the campaigns]