Thousands of Canceled Flights Upend Travel Plans

Flights are still being canceled and delayed due to the weather. Thousands of stranded holiday travelers are still no closer to home.

The aftermath of a massive, deadly storm grounded thousands of flights and throttled plans over the holiday weekend. Havoc continued to be wreaked across the United States from the storm, with disruptions likely to continue throughout the week at airports. 

Canceled flights have caused weary travelers to sleep on floors and wait hours in line for customer service. 

By mid-morning Eastern time on Tuesday, nearly 2,900 U.S. flights were canceled and more than 1,600 others delayed. 

The chaos on Tuesday followed similar scenes on Monday. More than 4,000 flights were canceled on Monday, with more than 8,500 delayed. 

Most of the canceled flights were operated by Southwest Airlines. A whopping 70 percent of Southwest’s flights were canceled for Monday, for a total of 2,800 flights by the airline. 

Southwest Airlines released a statement on Monday about the canceled and delayed flights, saying that the travel disruptions were “unacceptable” and that its network was behind because of the winter storm that slammed parts of the country with heavy snow, ice, and strong winds much of last week. 

Southwest is now in damage-control mode. Angry and frustrated customers have streamed to Twitter to let their voices be heard. The airline has repeatedly apologized for cancellations and has offered assistance through direct messages on Twitter. 

The Dallas-based airline, one of the world’s largest low-cost carriers, said it anticipated the disruptions would continue in the days heading into the New Year holiday travel period at the end of this week.

There have been so many issues that the Department of Transportation has weighed in, saying it would look into the Southwest issue, and that it was concerned by the airline’s “unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays,” as well as reports of poor customer service. 

Airline analysts have said this is the worst massive operational issue they can recall. 

Commercial airline traffic has been upended since last week as an Arctic blast coupled with a massive winter storm dubbed Elliott took shape over the Midwest and swept over much of the United States in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday weekend. 

The surge in cancellations and delays, coupled with long lines and lost luggage, spoiled many people’s holiday or vacation plans. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.