Next question after the blizzard: How to get home

What does winter weather mean for your wallet?
What does winter weather mean for your wallet?

There's the storm and the havoc it wreaks on travel. Then the snowy calm. And then the questions about when business will return to normal.

Parts of the Northeast began digging themselves out Tuesday after a storm that shut down highways, mass transit and air travel.

By afternoon in New York City, where the hit wasn't as great as feared, the roads were largely cleared, subways were back in service and a strict travel ban imposed the night before had been lifted.

Flights began again from New York's LaGuardia Airport, where 11 inches of snow had accumulated by Tuesday morning. Spirit Airlines became the first major carrier with scheduled takeoffs and arrivals, the airline said. (The first departure was headed for Tampa, which chalked up zero inches of snow.)

At the same time, folks in the Boston area were bracing for several more hours of snow from a storm that was described as a potentially "historic" blizzard. They likely face a steeper climb to return to normal.

Air travel is where the impact is most readily noticed, and the ripple effect of canceled flights means it will likely be days before travel is back the way it was.

The airlines should be operating as usual by Friday, said Tulinda Larsen, president of the travel analysis firm masFlight. But rebooking passengers whose flights have been canceled likely will last into next week.

Thousands of flights were canceled on Monday and Tuesday, and masFlight estimated Tuesday morning that at least 400,000 travelers were affected by flight cancellations alone.

If you were planning on traveling by plane, train or automobile this week, here's what you need to know:

By train:

--Amtrak: The rail line canceled all Tuesday trips on several of its busy lines in the Northeast. It suspended Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains between New York and Boston, as well as Empire Service, Amtrak Downeaster, Vermonter and the Springfield line. The Lake Shore Limited and trains between New York and Washington, D.C., will conduct only partial service on Tuesday, Amtrak said. More from Amtrak.

--Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority: The greater Boston T said it will be closed all day and evening Tuesday. More from MBTA.

--New Jersey Transit: Service closed Monday evening but reopened on a reduced schedule on Tuesday. More from NJ Transit.

--New York City Transit: All service ended at 11 p.m. on Monday night but slowly returned on Tuesday. The nation's largest single public transport network ran additional trains on Monday afternoon to get commuters fleeing work early before the weather hit.

By road: The storm is making for slick roads, including along major highways like I-70, I-80 I-84 and I-95. Travel bans put in place Monday evening were largely lifted Tuesday morning, but in many places, the conditions were still rough. "I am asking everyone in NJ who doesn't have to drive this morning please don't. And those that do, please drive slow," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie posted on Twitter around what would have been the Tuesday morning commute.

--Connecticut: Highways closed Monday evening but re-opened at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

--New Jersey: A ban on driving in the state was lifted after daybreak on Tuesday.

--New York City: Roads, including bridges and tunnels into the city, closed at 11 p.m. Monday but were reopened Tuesday morning. A statewide ban on suburban counties was also lifted.

--Massachusetts: Many roads closed at midnight on Tuesday, and cars parked on major roads in Boston after 6 p.m. were at risk of being towed. Some roads were later re-opened, but the ban on travel along I-90, a major thoroughfare known as the Mass Pike, remained.

--Philadelphia: Cars parked on major city streets after 6 p.m. were towed.

By plane: More than 4,700 flights on Tuesday were canceled, according to the tracker service FlightAware, on top of the more than 2,800 flights canceled on Monday and hundreds more already scrapped for Wednesday. The three major airports in the New York area were among those most affected. Those cancellations will ripple out through the country and it will likely be days before service is back to usual.

--American Airlines (AAL) and U.S. Airways: American planned for only "very limited operations (on Tuesday) in the Northeast," including in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. The airlines will let customers flying to or from two dozen airports in the region rebook reservations made for Monday and Tuesday without a fee. More from American. More from U.S. Airways.

--Delta Air Lines (DAL): The airline canceled all flights out of the three major New York-area on Tuesday after canceling approximately 600 flights scheduled for Monday. Customers were urged to rebook flights, and the airline said it would do so without no extra fee. It said service at New York's JFK and La Guardia airports was slated to resume on Wednesday morning. More from Delta.

--Frontier Airlines: Customers traveling from airports in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the Washington area may rebook without penalty. More from Frontier.

--JetBlue (JBLU): Flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled on Tuesday, and customers were allowed to rebook before February 1. More from Jet Blue.

--Southwest Airlines (LUV): It said customers traveling to and from the Northeast could reschedule without a fee. More from Southwest.

--Spirit Airlines (SAVE): The airline warned travel in and out of Boston would continue to be difficult through Wednesday. Travelers arriving at or departing from nine airports in the Northeast may reschedule their travel between now and February 3.

--United Airlines (UAL): The airline resumed some flights into and out of it's key hub, Newark, but said all flights to Boston and other New England-area airports were canceled through Wednesday.

--Virgin America (VA): The airline advised travelers headed into or out of Boston, New York, Newark or Washington airports on Tuesday that they may change their reservation without fees. More from Virgin America.

Who are the winners and losers in winter weather?
Who are the winners and losers in winter weather?

--CNN's Aaron Cooper, Stephanie Gallman and Rene Marsh contributed to this report

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