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Flight disruptions linger amid winter storms, Max 9 grounding

Over 320 flights have been canceled because of a winter storm that brought snow and freezing temperatures to Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on January 15, 2024. 

RJ Sangosti | Denver Post | Getty Images

Airlines canceled more than 1,800 U.S. flights Tuesday as winter weather continued to disrupt travel for millions of travelers.

Storms in the Northeast contributed to nearly 4,000 delays and snarled operations at major airports serving New York and Washington, D.C., according to flight-tracker FlightAware. Flight disruption improved from Monday, when severe weather contributed to over 10,000 delays around the U.S.

The Northeast storm dropped just over an inch of snow in New York City’s Central Park, according to the National Weather Service, snapping a more than 700-day streak since the park had seen over an inch of snow on a single calendar day. Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport saw almost two inches of snow accumulation.

Major airlines said travelers flying into dozens of airports in the storms’ paths can change their flights without paying fare differences.

Airlines canceled or delayed about 60% of flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. At nearby Newark Liberty International Airport, a hub for United, more than 35% of flights were canceled or delayed.

Reagan Airport saw over 40% of its flights canceled or delayed. Southwest Airlines had the most delays of any U.S. carrier, with more than 700, and canceled another nearly 400, or 10%, of its schedule

Airlines also canceled or delayed about 15% of flights at Denver International Airport as the area recovered from a Monday storm and winds chills that reached as low as 25 degrees below zero.

The continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 9 also contributed to cancellations and delays for Alaska Airlines and United, the only U.S. airlines operating the aircraft. Alaska canceled over 15% of its flights Tuesday, while United canceled about 12%.

Both airlines waived change fees for travelers whose plans were affected by the planes’ grounding.



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