Airlines cancel more than 5K flights due to U.S. storm

Airlines cancelled more than 5,500 flights in the U.S. and beyond this weekend as a blizzard conditions, cold and ice hits much of the U.S.

See Full Article

, with East Coast cities feeling the most impact.

The bulk of Saturday's 4,298 cancellations are at airports in the New York City and Washington metro areas, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. Another 1,235 flights were cancelled for Sunday. Those cancellationscentre on Philadelphia, Washington and New York, with airlines essentially shutting down all flights into those cities.

One bit of good news: Saturday is the slowest travel day of the week. There were a little more than 22,000 flights scheduled to, from or within the U.S., according to FlightAware. That's about 5,000 fewer flights -- and 400,000 fewer passengers -- than Thursday or Friday.

By Sunday afternoon, however, the airlines hope to be back to a full schedule to handle the typical influx of business travellers heading out to start a week on the road.

All major airlines have issued waivers for travel over the weekend, allowing passengers to rebook onto earlier or later flights to avoid the storms. The airports included vary by airline but include some cities in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia all the way up the coast to New Hampshire and Massachusetts. As of late Friday night, American Airlines alone has issued waivers for 42 airports.

For those looking to cancel their trips, they need to wait until the airline officially cancels calls off the flight. Airlines have been much more proactive in recent years about cancelling flights, often doing so up to a day in advance. More travellers are impacted, but they aren't stuck waiting in airports. It also lets airlines restart the system quicker because they have planes and crews in place.

If your flight is cancelled and maybe you are stuck at the airport, consider taking these actions:

  • If your flight is cancelled -- and you are at the airport -- get in line to speak to a customer service representative. But also call the airline directly. If the phone lines are jammed, try the airline's overseas numbers. You'll pay long-distance rates but might not have to wait. (Put those numbers in your phone now.) Finally, consider sending a tweet to the airline.
  • There are more to airline lounges than free drinks and lights snacks. The real secret to the lounges is that the airline staffs them with some of its best -- and friendliest -- ticket agents. The lines are shorter and these agents are magically able to find empty seats. So consider buying a one-day pass. It typically costs $50, but discounts can sometimes be found in advance online.
  • If weather causes cancellations, use apps like HotelTonight and Priceline to find last-minute hotel discounts for that night. Warning: Many of the rooms are nonrefundable when booked, so lock in only once you are stuck.


Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Homeland Security chief mulling greatly expanded airplane laptop ban

    Economic CBC News
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. Source
  • U.S. mulls banning laptops on all flights to and from the country

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. Source
  • Most Airbnb hosts still not registered in Quebec under year-old regulations

    Economic CTV News
    The majority of Quebecers who list their properties on Airbnb and other home rental websites are not registering with the province, just over a year since it implemented a law regulating them, new data suggests. Source
  • Advocate calls for chicken irradiation in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    A consumer advocate is pushing Ottawa to promote the irradiation of chicken to kill illness-causing bugs and to do a better job of getting buyers on board. Bruce Cran of the Consumers Association of Canada said the federal government has done "an incompetent job" informing Canadians that irradiation is safe and he worries that a lack of action could lead to a deadly outbreak. Source
  • British Airways aims to recover from IT failure

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- British Airways said Sunday it was still working to restore its computer systems but hoped to resume flights from London airports, a day after a global IT failure crippled its services. The airline said that it hopes to operate a "near normal schedule" at Gatwick and the "majority of services" from Heathrow on Sunday. Source
  • Canadian teenagers smarter than most about money, OECD finds

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian teenagers are more financially literate than most people their age in other rich countries, but more than one out of eight still fails to meet what the OECD considers a baseline level of proficiency in the topic. Source
  • People with serious food allergies want impostors to stop faking it in restaurants

    Economic CBC News
    Sarah Elliott has had it with people faking food allergies in restaurants. She has life-threatening allergies to eggs, dairy and nuts and fears the impostors are hurting her chances of safely dining out. Source
  • GM's emissions scandal and dangerous avocados: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    If you've been too busy to follow the consumer news this week, here's our cheat sheet. And you can get the Marketplace newsletter in your inbox every week. GM accused of emissions cheating A class-action suit in the U.S. Source
  • CN Rail employees issue strike notice

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A union representing employees at CN Rail is threatening job action to back contract demands. The Teamsters union has given the company 72 hour strike notice and could legally walk off the job Tuesday morning. Source
  • British Airways cancels flights amid global computer outage

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- British Airways cancelled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travellers on a busy holiday weekend. The airline said it was suffering a "major IT systems failure" around the world. Source