Daniel Baker, CEO of FlightAware, noted that the timing of this storm worked in the airlines' favor.
"Fortunately, Saturday is the lightest travel day of the week, so airlines can use the day to restart their operations in time for the Sunday evening travel rush," Baker said earlier as airlines were starting their cancellations.
Still, the storm disrupted thousands of travelers.
Denny Lindersson, a tourist from Sweden, was making his way across New York City with his family on Saturday morning after spending the night at a hotel close to Kennedy Airport. Their Saturday morning flight to the Cayman Islands was cancelled. JetBlue Airways re-booked them for a Monday flight, but rather than wait, the Linderssons bought new tickets on a flight from Newark Airport in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon.
"JetBlue didn't pay for anything," he grumbled, also noting that Sweden's biggest airport would not have shut down because of 11 inches of snow.
Several professional and college sports teams were stranded by the storm. The NBA's New York Knicks were stuck in Minnesota after playing the Timberwolves on Friday night. The San Antonio Spurs stayed overnight in Detroit, as they awaited word on flying to New York for their game Sunday night with the Brooklyn Nets.
AP Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz contributed to this story.