Hurricane Sandy left more than 16,000 flight cancellations in its wake, but affected only one flight in and out at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.
Airport Director of Aviation Dan Dickten said an Allegiant flight from Sanford / Orlando airport to Youngstown and then a return flight were each delayed by about two hours in the wake of the storm Monday evening.
Other than that, Dickten said there were no other weather-related problems at the airport stemming from Hurricane Sandy. There were no flights scheduled for Tuesday at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, Dickten said.
In the aftermath of Sandy, airports from Washington to Boston were deserted, despite hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded across the U.S. and around the world. Instead of camping out inside airport terminals, most are staying with friends and family or in hotels.
There was no chaos reported.
After years of storm mismanagement and the bad public relations that followed, U.S. airlines have rewritten their severe weather playbooks. They've learned that it's best to cancel flights early and keep the public away from airports, even if that means they'll have a bigger backlog to deal with once conditions improve.
This allows the airlines to tell gate agents, baggage handlers and flight crews to stay home, too - keeping them fresh once they're needed again and avoiding overtime pay.
And by moving planes to airports outside of the storm's path, airlines can protect their equipment and thereby get flight schedules back to normal quickly after a storm passes and airports reopen.
"The last few major storms created such gridlock, and such bad will with their best customers, they just had to shift their behavior," said Kate Hanni, who heads up the passenger advocacy group Flyers Rights and lobbied for the three-hour rule. "The flying public would rather have their flights pre-canceled than be sleeping in Chicago on a cot."
The number of cancellations is likely to rise.
"It will probably take until the weekend for things to return to normal," said Rob Maruster, the chief operating officer of JetBlue Airways, based in New York.
Even "normal" won't be perfect. Passengers are reporting multi-hour wait times at most airline call centers and they are likely to experience long lines once airports reopen.
Airlines have spent the past few days running through color-coded checklists to shut down their Northeast operations. Computers were covered in plastic tarps. Hotel rooms near airports were booked for gate agents and ramp workers. Planes, pilots and flight attendants were moved to other airports.
And, shelter was found for livestock traveling as cargo.
"Anything that could move by the wind, we've locked down," said Henry Kuykendall, who oversees operations for Delta Air Lines at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The airlines' in-house meteorologists started tracking this storm more than a week ago as it approached the Caribbean. By Thursday night, it was pretty clear that widespread cancellations would happen in Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
The next day, airlines started to waive fees for passengers who wanted to move to earlier or later flights. American Airlines, for instance, let travelers heading to any of 22 airports - from Greensboro, N.C. in the south to Buffalo, N.Y. in the north - change plans. Then teams started to cancel flights heading into or out of airports stretching from Washington to Boston.
That sounds easier than it is. Every plane in its fleet is in near constant motion. In one day, a single plane might fly from Atlanta to New York to Detroit - and then back to Atlanta and then once more to New York.
If the airline doesn't want that plane to spend the night in New York, it has ripple effects throughout the system. For instance, that plane might have been scheduled the next day to fly passengers to Seattle and then on to San Francisco.
When Sandy hit, almost no planes were left in the Northeast.
Associated Press reporter Scott Mayerowitz and Tribune Chronicle business writer Brenda J. Linert contributed to this story.