DENVER (CBS4)– Airlines flying into and out of Denver International Airport cancelled more than 270 flights ahead of a massive winter storm forecast for the Front Range, Denver metro area and Eastern Plains.

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday United Airlines had cancelled more than 150 flights, almost all of those are departures. For Thursday night, 35 United Express flights were cancelled.

Frontier Airlines cancelled a total of 38 flights.

Southwest Airlines cancelled 50 departures for Friday, 10 arrivals for Thursday night. American Airlines cancelled one flight and US Airways cancelled two flights.

RELATED STORY: Winter Storm Forecast

Various airlines have put their winter weather travel waivers into effect, including United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest. In most cases, passengers who booked their travel in advance can change their flight itinerary without change fees. Check with your airline for details.

DIA said snow began falling after 7 p.m. Thursday and expected the heaviest snow to fall between 10 p.m. and midday Friday.

The snow is expected to slow down operations at DIA along with flight cancellations and delays. Passengers are encouraged to check with their airlines regarding flight status. Airlines will be in full de-ice mode throughout the storm which can result in additional delays after aircraft push back from their gates.

DIA said they have approximately 500 trained snow removal personnel and nearly 300 pieces of snow removal equipment ready for when the storm hits. Snow removal crews were deployed at 3 p.m. Thursday and will work throughout the duration of the storm.

Anyone driving to and from DIA should give themselves extra time and drive with caution. DIA crews are responsible for clearing Pena Blvd. in addition to other airport roadways, taxiways and runways.

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