As a result of a significant winter storm hitting the United States over the past two days, over 4,400 flights have been canceled. This coincides with the beginning of the holiday season, which many experts believe will be one of the busiest seasons ever.
According to FlightAware’s flight tracking website, more than 2,350 flights in the United States were canceled on Thursday, and another 2,120 flights for Friday were scrapped. Additionally, the passenger railroad Amtrak canceled dozens of trains through Christmas, which disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of people during the holiday season.
Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel 865 flights on Thursday, which accounts for approximately one-fifth of all of its scheduled flights. Additionally, the airline had previously canceled 550 flights for Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration reported on Thursday that the winter storm was bringing blizzard conditions to the Midwest and that substantial travel disruptions were predicted in Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
According to FlightAware, Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), which has already canceled 140 out of 4,400 flights on Thursday and 90 on Friday, announced that “further cancellations will be necessary Friday as the storm continues to impair operations in Detroit and the Northeast.”
As of Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time (00:30 GMT), 25% of outgoing flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and 37% of departing flights at Chicago Midway had been canceled, while 27% of leaving flights from Denver had been canceled.
Amtrak has announced that it will cancel several dozen scheduled train excursions in the Midwest through the holiday season due to the weather conditions. These train travels include trains in the states of Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri and between New York and Chicago.
Brandon Mattis, 24 years old at the time, was at the La Guardia Airport in New York City looking for a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to celebrate Christmas with the rest of his family. According to what he said, his flight had been scrubbed.
“On our mobile devices, we are attempting to search. Consider taking alternative paths. Alternatively, we may take a bus to Atlanta to get us there in approximately 21 hours. So, that makes things a whole lot more difficult. However, we will try to reach our destination as quickly as possible.”
The Transportation Security Administration examined approximately 16.2 million passengers in the week that ended on Wednesday. This number is only marginally lower than the 16.5 million passengers screened in the same period in 2019 before the COVID outbreak began.
The holiday season of the previous year was marked by an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff members, which resulted in the cancellation of thousands of flights by airlines. Earlier this week, airlines based in the United States announced that they would waive change fees and ticket discrepancies for customers traveling from various affected areas.
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