Recent winter storms cause numerous plane delays and cancellation

Traveling by plane during the holiday season was a nightmare for many


Sean Asay

Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 15,000 flights on Christmas day and the days following.

Krista Karel, Copy Editor

This past winter, thousands of airlines have cancelled or delayed flights, affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans wishing to travel for the holidays. These cancellations were caused by severe winter storms across the country. The west coast suffered from low visibility due to clouds and fog, the Midwest had so much snow that closed some freeways and the East had winds too powerful for safe plane travel. 

Airlines delayed and even cancelled many flights to avoid flying in these unsafe conditions. In fact, Alaska Airlines cancelled over 500 flights in just one day.  

Not only would flying be dangerous in these conditions, but many planes were simply unable to be prepped. The temperature this winter was sometimes too cold for workers to prepare the planes. Freezing fuel hoses, locks and other equipment made takeoff impossible. 

This meant bad news for the immense amount of people traveling the country. People rushed to reschedule flights, and almost every flight was booked to capacity due to the overload of people trying to get plane tickets. 

According to on Dec. 25, “Airlines and travelers were hard-pressed to find alternative flights before the holiday because planes were booked so full and schedules dropped sharply during the weekend.” 

Although the weather has gotten better since the end of December, another storm swept across the Rocky Mountains in mid-January, forcing more airlines to cancel their flights. On Jan. 18, Denver International Airport cancelled or delayed over 300 flights as an effect of the storm. The airport reported almost nine inches of snow that morning. 

According to, “This is the largest January snowfall total for Denver since 1992, when 14.8 inches of snow was recorded.”  

Clearly, this winter has been a rough one for air travel. As winter ends, flying will hopefully become a lot smoother, and schedules will go back to normal.