Sandy a nightmare for fliers as airlines ground 9,000 flights

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NEW YORK-  The number of flight cancellations resulting from Hurricane Sandy is now pushing 9,000, according to the FlightAware flight-tracking service.

And that number — 8,962 as of 9 a.m. ET — appears certain to grow over the next 24 hours as Sandy moves onshore.

So far, FlightAware says Sandy forced the cancellation of 1,300 flights on Sunday and 6,814 so far today (Oct. 29). Tuesday’s total currently stands at 2,594, a figure that seems likely to rise if Sandy lingers over the Northeast as long as forecasts project.

Once Tuesday’s cancellation tally is included, it’s possible the total could soar over 10,000 and possibly approach the 14,000 Hurricane Irene-related flight cancellations that were reported over a four-day period in August 2011.