Airlines have cancelled thousands of flights for Saturday as a powerful winter storm packing strong winds and many inches of snow is set to envelop major cities on the East Coast.
“Travel is heading to be a mess so if you’re journeying to or from the Northeast and if your airline hasn’t canceled your flight yet … save yourself the aggravation and delay,” told JohnnyJet founder and editor-in-chief, John E. DiScala (aka Johnny Jet). He restarted, “If you don’t have that luxury then fill some snacks and your patience.”
Winter Storm Kenan has sustained winds in a stretch of coastline with winds steady at about 30 miles an hour and gusts up to 60 miles an hour. In Boston, they are hoping for more than a foot and a half of snow. New York City is anticipated to get as much as a foot of snow.
As you can imagine the airlines have their hands full also this weekend.
“The airlines began issuing travel waivers for this big storm as early as late Thursday, so the carriers are expecting an important weather effect to their operations in New York City, Boston, and other parts of the U.S. East Coast,” told Tim Jue, a San Francisco-based journalist covering airlines and trip.
According to flight tracking company Flight Aware – as of 10 a.m. on Saturday, more than 3,500 flights have been canceled on Saturday, Jan. 29. Another 827 have already been canceled on Sunday.
Jue informed TPG that if readers were traveling anywhere in the Northeast today, ” … there’s a fair chance your flight will not take off given the sweeping number of cancelations.”
JetBlue canceled a whopping 68% of
Hardest hit so far? JetBlue revoked a whopping 68% of its scheduled flights today. Two of its hubs are among the hardest hit airports in today’s storm with both New York-JFK and Boston Logan (BOS) seeing blizzard situations.
Regional carrier Republic canceled 62% of its flights today. United revoked 397 flights or about 22% of its schedule, and American Airlines cut 18% of its flights.
“We want to keep a close eye on what happens after the storm,” restarted Jue, “Airlines have comprehensive plans in place for a winter storm recovery at an airport, but those plans are built for an era when the airline is completely staffed and there isn’t a highly contagious COVID-19 variant circling about.”
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Indeed, according to Flight Aware, JetBlue has pre-emptively canceled 10% of its Sunday schedule and Republic has already revoked 19%.
To top it off, airlines are still recovering from a pretty messy operational meltdown that dragged on from Christmas into the new year. According to a TPG analysis, one out of every 13 flights was revoked over the holidays.
“The big flight disruptions we saw in December 2021 were attributed not only to sick flight crews but also because of winter weather nationwide, expressed Jue. He said, ” I do not believe the disruption will be as important, but you’re going to actually want to triple check your flight status if you’re flying to the Northeast in the coming days.”
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