Wednesday as winter weather snarled flights at dozens of U.S. airports
Airlines were canceling flights and waiving change fees as wintry weather threatened airports across a large swath of the United States on Tuesday. Texas and the Northeast were the regions in the cross hairs of the latest winter storm to affect travel.
Nearly 1,600 flights had been canceled and another 3,100 delayed as of 6 p.m. ET, according to flight tracking service Flight Aware. Wednesday looked like it would be messy for fliers, too, with more than 340 flights had already grounded.
Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, the busiest hub for United Airlines. Nearly 800 flights had been grounded as 5 p.m. local time, accounting for about a third of the airport’s entire daily schedule.
Ominously for fliers, cancellations were also on the rise in in Atlanta, home to the world’s busiest airport. Wintry weather was expected to begin falling there Tuesday evening.
Delta, which operates its busiest hub there, had canceled about 275 flights on Tuesday — mostly in the evening ahead of the poor weather. Fortunately for fliers, the weather there was expected to improve Wednesday
Aside from the busier Bush Intercontinental, Houston Hobby also was hard hit. About 225 cancellations were reported there as of 5 p.m. local time, representing about half of Tuesday’s schedule.
The problems in Houston came as the city was dealing with ice and freezing rain.
More broadly, travelers should brace for delays and disruptions across the South as wintry weather pushed deep into the region. Also seeing higher-than-average rates of delays and cancellations early Tuesday were the Austin, Dallas Love, Dallas/Fort Worth San Antonio and New Orleans airports.
Most big airlines were waiving rebooking fees for several airports in Texas.
That ranged from just an inch or two in Washington to more than a half-foot in New England. Flights could be disrupted both from snow and ice removal and from backups from de-icing aircraft prior to departure.
Already, nearly 60 flights were canceled in Boston Tuesday, with conditions expected to worsen on Wednesday.
Some cities in the South were expected to get wintry weather Tuesday into Wednesday, including places like Charlotte, Nashville, Louisville and Richmond, Va.
By Tuesday, both American and Delta had expanded their winter-weather waivers to include a number of airports in the Southeast.