Flight cancellations top 1,600 on Christmas Day
LOS ANGELES — With much of the United States still reeling from a nearly weeklong winter storm, flight cancellations and delays and other transportation challenges continued to pile up on Christmas Day.
More than 1,600 flights within, into or out of the United States were already canceled by 12:15 p.m. ET Sunday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. And delays of flights still able to takeoff numbered almost 3,200. Christmas Day is traditionally a light day for passenger flights.
Demonstrating the sheer size and impact of the storm, it was an airport in the Deep South that felt the hardest hit by noon Christmas Day. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) — the world’s busiest airport for passengers — saw the most cancellation and delays.
No. 2 was more than 1,000 miles away out in the Rocky Mountains with Denver International.
Denver International was keeping a sense of humor during the stressful event, posting a tweet of what appeared to be an airport worker playing “Jingle Bells” on a fiddle. The temperature at 10:15 a.m. MT at Denver International was already above freezing at 44F (7C).
In hard-hit western New York, things were still too rough for humor.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) tweeted that it would remain closed entirely until 11 am. Tuesday, December 27 — extending out a closing originally set to end at 11 a.m. Monday.
The temperature at BUF at 12:15 p.m. ET was 20F (-7C) with blowing snow and wind speeds of 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
A rough week for flying
The massive storm’s arrival was ill-timed for travelers who had started pushing Christmas week flying numbers back toward pre-pandemic levels.
On Christmas Eve, there were a total of 3,487 flights canceled, according to FlightAware. Friday was the worst day with 5,934 cancellations, while Thursday saw almost 2,700 cancellations.
This megablast of winter weather across the eastern two-thirds of the nation is forecast to slowly moderate into Monday. As of 12:15 p.m. ET, there were just 153 preemptive cancellations for Monday.
Bus and train service
Late Saturday night, Greyhound posted its latest bus service disruptions, which were centered around routes into and out of Buffalo and Syracuse in New York.
If you’re taking a Greyhound bus, you can click here for the latest information for your bus.
Amtrak’s last service alert was posted Friday. It said then the severe weather “has caused Amtrak to make several service and cancellations from now through Sunday, December 25.”
The train company said impacted customers should be able to take trains leaving at similar times or on another day. You can click here to get the latest Amtrak service alerts on delays or to @AmtrakAlerts on Twitter.
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