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Airlines scrap nearly 2,000 U.S. flights as winter storm disrupts holiday travel

Dec 22 (Reuters) – Airlines canceled nearly 2,000 U.S. flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday as Arctic blasts hit large swaths of the country ahead of powerful winter storms. It disrupted the vacation trips of a thousand people.

The extreme weather coincided with the start of one of the busiest holiday travel seasons in decades.

According to tracking website FlightAware, as of 8 a.m. ET on Thursday, the total number of cancellations in and outside the US was 1,239, with an additional 699 flights on Friday being scrapped.

Last year’s holiday period was marred by a COVID-19 outbreak among staff that forced the airline to cancel many flights.

U.S. airlines, including Delta, United and American, announced Tuesday that they will waive change fees and fare differences for passengers in various affected regions.

American Airlines (AAL.O) Wednesday continues to monitor winter storms expected to affect Midwest, Northeast and East Coast airports this week, with about 80 flights as of 8 a.m. ET. said it was canceled.

Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) has canceled 459 flights.

Reported by Aishwarya Nair, Bangalore. Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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