Strong winter storms have caused the cancellation of 5,700 flights in the United States.
On Friday, more than 5,700 U.S. flights were cancelled because of big winter storms that slowed down airport operations and made tens of thousands of holiday travellers angry.
That was after nearly 2,700 flights were cancelled on Thursday, and FlightAware says that just over 1,000 flights have already been cancelled for Saturday.
Amtrak has cancelled dozens of trains through Christmas, making it hard for thousands of people to get where they need to go.
Highways in the Midwest were backed up for a long time because of snow or accidents, and officials in parts of Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio told people not to drive if they didn’t have to.
Due to winter weather, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stopped or slowed down flights at a number of U.S. airports so that planes could be de-iced.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that two storms and high winds are putting a lot of stress on the U.S. aviation system. Buttigieg said that about 10% of U.S. flights were cancelled on Thursday.
After 11,300 flights were delayed on Thursday, 10,400 more U.S. flights were delayed on Friday. More than 40% of those flights were run by American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), United Airlines, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV).
Southwest cancelled 1,238 flights on Friday, which is 29% of all its flights. Alaska Airlines, on the other hand, cancelled 507 flights, which is 64% of all its flights.
357 flights, or 63% of all departures, from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were cancelled on Friday. Due to snow and ice, the FAA lifted a ground stop there, but as of late Friday, delays were still about three hours on average.
Nearly half of the flights leaving Detroit Metro were cancelled, as were 70% of those leaving Portland, 38% of those leaving New York’s LaGuardia, 29% of those leaving Chicago O’Hare, and 27% of those leaving Boston.
Wind chills of minus 24 degrees Fahrenheit were making it dangerously cold in Chicago (minus 31 degrees Celsius).