Denver Airport
Credit: John Leyba/Getty Images

Hundreds of flights to and from Denver have been canceled just days ahead of Thanksgiving due to a winter storm which is expected to bring 16 inches of snow to the area by Tuesday evening.

The National Weather Service tweeted that heavy snowfall would make “travel difficult to nearly impossible.”

There is a winter storm warning is in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday. Almost 500 flights were canceled to and from the airport by early Tuesday morning, according to FlightAware.

"It's a bummer this is happening ahead of Thanksgiving," airport spokesperson Emily Williams told Colorado Public Radio. "We know a lot of people are trying to get home and we are going to do our best to get you there. And we will definitely get you there safely."

Travelers with plans to fly through Denver on Tuesday should monitor their flight status before leaving for the airport. Airlines are waiving change fees for passengers with flights scheduled to and from the airport.

American Airlines travelers scheduled to travel through Denver on Tuesday, November 26 can reschedule their flights through November 29. Change fees are also waived for those scheduled to travel to Minneapolis on Wednesday, November 27 and can rebook before November 30.

JetBlue, United and Delta passengers traveling to and from Denver on Tuesday, November 26 can rebook their flights through November 29.

Southwest is offering free flight changes to passengers scheduled to travel to and from Denver on Tuesday, November 26 and Minneapolis on Tuesday or Wednesday. Passengers must rebook their travel within 14 days of their originally scheduled flight.

The airport was expecting an estimated 196,000 passengers on Tuesday. Those who rebook their flights for the coming days will have to battle the two million passengers expected to pass through Denver during the Thanksgiving travel period. Wait times at baggage check and security are likely to be exceptionally long at Denver in the coming days.