Holiday travel: Over 1,600 flight cancellations on Christmas Day

LOS ANGELES — With much of the United States still battered by a winter storm that lasted nearly a week, Christmas Day saw cancellations and delays and other transportation problems pile up.

More than 1,600 flights within, to or from the United States were canceled as early as 12:15 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. And the delays of flights still able to take off amounted to almost 3,200. Christmas Day is traditionally an easy day for passenger flights.

It was a Deep South airport that demonstrated the sheer size and impact of the storm, which was hit hardest at noon on Christmas Day. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) — the world’s busiest airport for passengers — saw the most cancellations and delays.

#2 was more than 1,000 miles away in the Rocky Mountains at Denver International.

Denver International kept a sense of humor during the stressful event, posting a tweet from what appeared to be an airport employee playing “Jingle Bells” on a violin. The temperature at 10:15 MT at Denver International was already above freezing at 44F (7C).

In hard-hit western New York, it was still too rough for humor.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) tweeted that it would remain fully closed until 11 a.m. Tuesday 27 December – Extension of a closure originally scheduled to end at 11:00am on Monday.

The temperature at BUF at 12:15 p.m. ET was 20°F (-7°C) with blowing snow and winds of 40 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

A tough week flying

The arrival of the massive storm came at an awkward time for travelers who had begun to push Christmas week flight numbers back to pre-pandemic levels.

A total of 3,487 flights were canceled on Christmas Eve, according to FlightAware. Friday was the worst day with 5,934 cancellations, while Thursday saw nearly 2,700 cancellations.

This mega-blast of winter weather across the nation’s eastern two-thirds is expected to slowly subside by Monday. As of 12:15 p.m. ET, there were only 153 precautionary cancellations for Monday.

bus and train transport

Late Saturday night, Greyhound released its latest bus service disruptions, which focused on routes to and from Buffalo and Syracuse, New York.

If you are taking a Greyhound bus, you can click here for the latest information for your bus.

Amtrak’s latest service warning was issued on Friday. It then said the storm had “prompted Amtrak to conduct multiple connections and cancellations from now through Sunday, December 25.”

The rail company said affected customers should be able to board trains that depart at similar times or on a different day. For the latest Amtrak service delay alerts, click here or send @AmtrakAlerts on Twitter.

The CNN Wire
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