Flight disruptions linger amid winter storms, Max 9 grounding

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

RJ Sangosti | Denver Post | Getty Images

Airlines canceled more than 2,000 U.S. flights Tuesday as winter weather continued to disrupt travel for millions of travelers.

Storms in the Northeast contributed to nearly 6,000 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 more than 10,000 delays across the U.S.

The Northeast storm dropped just more than 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 70% of flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. At nearby Newark Liberty International Airport, a hub for United, more than 45% of flights were canceled or delayed.

Reagan Airport saw more than 60% of its flights canceled or delayed. Southwest Airlines had the most delays of any U.S. carrier, with about 1,000, and canceled another nearly 450, or 14%, of its schedule.

Airlines also canceled or delayed about 30% of flights at Denver International Airport as the area recovered from a Monday storm and wind 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 more than 15% of its flights Tuesday, while United canceled about 14%.

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

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