Winter snow storms force airlines to cancel thousands of flights

Traveling this holiday season just got a little harder as airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights ahead of a series of snow storms happening across the country. See below to learn what this means to you.


by Aline Barbosa

12/23/2022 | Updated on 12/25/2022

More than 4,000 flights canceled between Wednesday and Friday.

cancel flights
Airlines are canceling flights due to bad weather. Source: Adobe Stock.

Most of the major airlines in the U.S. were forced to cancel flights just ahead of holiday season. The main reason behind it is the severe winter storms that took over the country the week before Christmas.

According to recent data from FlightAware, over 4,300 flights were canceled from last Wednesday through Friday. That includes the busiest time of the year for airlines, which is around Christmas time. 

On Thursday, three main airports had to cancel the most flights amongst them all. O’Hare and Midway – in Chicago – and Denver International had the biggest share. Airlines announced that high winds and snow could also affect travel in other states. 

On Wednesday, the heavy winds forced airlines to cancel flights which accounted for 2% of their schedule. More than 30% of flights suffered delays, and disruptions were even worse on Thursday. 

Companies such as American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United issued waivers for a series of destinations across the U.S. That allowed travelers to adjust their departures without having to pay a fee or fare difference. 

Being forced to cancel flights can turn into a snowball for airlines

cancel flights
Canceling flights can turn into a snowball situation for airlines. Source: Adobe Stock.

Generally, airlines cancel flights ahead of bad weather to avoid having their passengers, crew and aircrafts to be stranded at the last minute. Unfortunately, that situation can evolve into a snowball. 

Bad weather can affect what most companies expected to be the busiest travel days to end a less-than-perfect year. 

United stated that it had expectations for the year-end holidays to top Thanksgiving weekend, with over 400,000 travelers per day. The company believes that January 2 will be their busiest day ever since the covid pandemic began. 

During the summer and spring, most airlines already had to cancel flights because of bad weather and labor shortages. That sparked complaints from politicians and travelers, and forced the companies to cut their schedules. 

In late 2021/early 2022, the new covid wave with the omicron variant also led to thousands of cancellations. American Airlines said it’s offering extra pay for crew members to work during the holidays to avoid a shortage of staff. 

How much money do you need to travel abroad?

Are you planning to travel overseas before the end of the year? Other than worrying about airlines and canceled flights, you need to think about how much you will spend while abroad. If you haven’t figured that number out already, we can help.

Check the following link to understand the importance of budgeting while you’re away and how much money you should take with you. 

coupel travel

How much money do you need to travel abroad?

If you're dreaming of traveling abroad, but don't know how to get started or what it will cost, this guide will help! Read on for more

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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