Airlines cancel flights before Christmas

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Workers de-icing an Alaska Airlines flight during a snowstorm at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in Washington, U.S.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Good pictures

Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights this week as winter storms, bitter cold and high winds disrupted US travel ahead of the Christmas weekend.

According to tracking site FlightAware, carriers have grounded more than 2,800 flights from Wednesday to Friday. Sunday includes the period before Christmas that airlines expect to be the busiest travel time.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport and Chicago Midway accounted for the largest share of canceled flights Thursday. Airlines warned that snow, icy winds and cold temperatures could affect travel from Seattle to Boston, North Carolina.

American, Southwest, United, Delta, the spirit, Jet Blue, Alaska And other airlines offered weather exemptions to dozens of destinations across the country, allowing passengers to change their departures without incurring a change fee or fare difference.

Weather could affect what airlines expect to be busy travel days to round out a rocky year. United said it expects the year-end holidays to be busier than Thanksgiving with an average of 440,000 passengers per day. Jan. The carrier, scheduled for the 2nd, will be the most exciting feat since the pandemic began.

Passengers arrive for their flights at United Airlines Terminal 1 ahead of the Christmas holiday at O’Hare International Airport on December 22, 2022 in Chicago.

Kamil Krsachinsky | AFP | Good pictures

Disruptions in the spring and summer caused by bad weather and labor shortages prompted an outcry from customers and politicians, and fueled the airlines. Organize their schedule.

Late last year and early 2023, an Omicron wave of Covid sidelined crews and led to hundreds of flight cancellations.

American Airlines, for its part, has been paying employees who work during peak holidays to boost staffing.

“It all goes hand in hand to make sure our customers are taken care of during the holiday travel season when severe weather hits,” American said in a statement. “Critical to our products is sizing the aircraft to the resources we have and the operating conditions we face, as well as being able to act quickly to get our customers on their way once the weather clears.”


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