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Massive Winter Storm Cancels Thousands of Flights Across US



Airport screen indicating cancelled flights | Massive Winter Storm Cancels Thousands of Flights Across US | featured

A powerful winter storm canceled thousands of flights for Wednesday and Thursday. Packing ice, rain, sleet, and snow, the winter storm stretches across the US from the Midwest to the South.

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Thousands of Flights Cancelled As Winter Storm Descends on US

delayed flight | Thousands of Flights Cancelled As Winter Storm Descends on US

On Wednesday, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport received the most cancellations at 364 flights. The terminal is both United Airlines' and American Airlines’ regional hub.

In addition, airports in St. Louis, Denver, and Detroit are also starting to pile up cancellations. As of Wednesday, their cumulative total was at 352.

In total, US airlines canceled 2,350 flights on Wednesday alone. Data used for this report was based on FlightAware, a national flight tracking site. 

However, Thursday seems to bring even more bad news. FlightAware reported that US airlines canceled at least 3,563 flights. This includes flights going into, out, and across the United States for the day.

For example, around 90% of scheduled flights from Dallas Love Field are now canceled. Dallas Love Field is the hub for Southwest Airlines. 

Winter Storm to Last Until This Weekend

During canceled flights due to severe weather conditions, travelers have an option to recoup their tickets. Normally, airlines issue travel waivers that allow passengers to rebook for free.

In this case, many airlines will have no choice but to cancel and reissue canceled flights. Meteorologists are seeing that the winter storm will linger at least into the weekend 

In fact, the Southern US should expect intensified ice accumulation, especially in the Dallas Fort-Worth area and Memphis. Overall, more than 90 million Americans will be under winter weather alerts. This area will stretch from the Rockies to New England. 

Miserable Period For Air Travelers

According to the Weather Prediction Center last Wednesday, Americans should expect a very cold week ahead. “A corridor of heavy ice accumulation (exceeding a quarter of an inch) is likely from Texas through the Ohio Valley.

Locations impacted by snow and/or ice are expected to have temperatures remain below freezing,” it reported. Conditions will remain “well below average for at least a couple of days after the wintry precip(itation) ends.”

Including this week’s winter storm, airline passengers are enduring a miserable period of travel. 

Both the cold winter weather and Omicron surge are complicating Americans’ flight plans. Last weekend, winter conditions and COVID outbreaks canceled over 20,000 US flights over the busy holiday travel season.

Even as travel picked up, staffing cuts left airlines handicapped. They have fewer employees on hand to service the surge in travelers.  

Watch the CBS Mornings new video reporting that over 1,000 flights canceled as another massive winter storm threatens millions:

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