HOUSTON: Airlines cancelled nearly 2,000 US flights scheduled for today and Friday, disrupting holiday travel for thousands, as an Arctic blast surged across a wide swath of the country ahead of a powerful winter storm.
The extreme weather coincided with the start of a holiday travel season shaping up as one of the busiest in decades.
Total cancellations within, into, or out of the US were 1,239 as of 8am ET today, as per tracking website FlightAware, and an additional 699 flights for Friday were scrapped.
Last year’s holiday period was marred by an outbreak of Covid-19 among staff that forced airlines to cancel many flights.
US airlines including Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines said on Tuesday they were waiving change fees and fare differences for passengers in a range of affected areas.
American Airlines said on Wednesday it was continuing to monitor the winter storm, which is expected to impact Midwest, Northeast and East Coast airports this week, and had cancelled about 80 flights as of 8am ET.
Southwest Airlines had cancelled 459 flights.