Winter storms force airlines to cancel 5,700 flights in the U.S.

Inside Midway International Airport In Chicago, Illinois, United States
As a bomb cyclonic windstorm hits the Upper Midwest on December 22nd, 2022, Southwest Airlines passengers arrive for their flight as flight cancellations mount during a cold weather front at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, United States. DOPN NEWS/Gabriel Gonzalez/File Photo

United States, Washington, December 23rd – Over 5,700 flights were canceled on Friday in the U.S. Tens of thousands of travelers were frustrated as massive winter storms snarled airport operations across the country.

According to flight tracking website FlightAware, nearly 2,700 flights were canceled on Thursday, and just over 1,000 flights have already been canceled on Saturday.

Thousands of travelers have been impacted by the cancellation of dozens of Amtrak trains through Christmas. Midwest highways were closed due to snow or accidents, and authorities urged motorists to avoid nonessential travel in New York, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assessed ground stops or holds at several U.S. airports due to winter weather.

According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, several major storms and high winds across the country have caused the U.S. aviation system to be under enormous strain. 

According to Buttigieg, the number of canceled flights in the United States rose to about 10% on Thursday. More than 40% of American Airlines flights were delayed on Friday, adding to the 10,400 U.S. flights delayed on Thursday.

United Airlines (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) – due to 11,300 flight delays on December 22nd, Thursday. There were 1,238 Southwest flights canceled on Friday, 29% of the company’s scheduled flights.

The number of flights canceled by Alaska Airlines (ALK.N) was 507, or 64%. Friday, 357 flights, or 63% of departures, were canceled at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 

Winter Storms Force Airlines To Cancel 5,700 Flights In The U.s.
Winter storms force airlines to cancel 5,700 flights in the U.S. DOPN NEWS/Gabriel Gonzalez/File Photo

Despite a ground stop lifted by the FAA due to snow and ice, late Friday delays averaged nearly three hours. Detroit Metro canceled nearly half of its departing flights, 

Additionally, Chicago O’Hare and New York’s LaGuardia had 38%, Portland 70%, Boston 27%, and Boston 29%. Wind chills in Chicago reached minus 24 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 31 degrees Celsius).