Storm Disrupts Holiday Travel, Forcing More Than 2,000 U.S. Flight Cancellations

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The beleaguered airline industry has yet to fully recover from the pandemic, but with 2022 making it the second consecutive holiday season with thousands of canceled flights, there is no rest.

Rashard Jorden

As a powerful winter storm hits the United States, airlines have canceled more than 2,000 U.S. flights, disrupting vacation travel for thousands.

The extreme weather coincided with the start of what could be one of the busiest seasons ever for holiday travel.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that winter storms are bringing blizzard conditions to the Midwest and major travel disruptions are expected in Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

More than 1,500 flights were canceled in the United States on Thursday, and another 761 flights were scrapped on Friday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

So far, 21% of flights departing from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and 37% of flights departing from Chicago Midway on Thursday have been cancelled.

In the seven days ended Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration said it had tested nearly 16.2 million passengers, just below the 16.5 million tested during the same period in 2019.

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

U.S. carriers, including Delta, United and American, announced earlier this week that they would waive change fees and fare differences for passengers in various affected regions.

American Airlines said on Wednesday it continues to monitor winter storms expected to affect Midwest, Northeast and East Coast airports this week, with around 80 as of 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). I canceled the flight.

Southwest Airlines has canceled 580 flights.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair, Bangalore and David Shepardson, Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Jonathan Oatis)

This article was written by David Shepardson and Aishwarya Nair of Reuters and is legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. For all licensing questions, [email protected].

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