Thousands of flights canceled as winter weather slams both coasts (AAL, DAL, LUV, UAL)

snow plane

  • Winter weather was causing flight delays and cancellations on both US coasts Tuesday. 
  • More than 2,000 flights were canceled and another 500 delayed in Seattle, New York, Chicago, Toronto, and more. 
  • Many airlines had issued travel waivers for affected airports. Check with your carrier if you are flying today. 

More than 2,000 flights were canceled and another 5,000 delayed across the United States on Tuesday as winter weather bared down on wide swaths of the country, according to data from FlightAware.

Flight disruptions were occurring on both coasts, with a majority of issues happening in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Toronto. The number of delays and cancellations is likely to cascade as winter storm Maya tracks east from the Midwest into the mid-Atlantic and the northeast.

Winter Weather Map

The National Weather Service was warning of multiple storm systems Tuesday morning that were causing hazardous travel conditions around the Great Lakes, the Northeast and West Coast.

“The potential exists for 6 to 12 inches of snow from northern Wisconsin to northern Michigan, and even higher amounts across upstate New York and northern New England with 12 to 18 inches possible,” the agency said on its website.

“A corridor of freezing rain is likely to the south of the heavy snow axis, extending from the central Appalachians to southern New England, and also across southern Michigan.”

LaGuardia departures board In addition to the frigid weather, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico is causing heavy rain and the potential for flooding in the Appalachians, the NWS said.

At Chicago’s O’Hare airport, a major hub for United Airlines, arriving flights were delayed by an average of 90 minutes, the Federal Aviation Administration said. In Minneapolis and Detroit, delays averaged 43 minutes as of 9:30 am. 

Farther north in Canada, at Toronto’s Person International, departure delays had topped four hours due to snow and ice.

Many airlines have suspended their reservation change policies to accommodate for weather.

If you’re flying on Tuesday, be sure to check with your airline for specific policies and a list of affected airports.

“Here’s another statistic that sets this month apart,” the Seattle branch of the NWS tweeted. “Including ALL months going back to 1894, there have been only been 5 months (including this one) in which 6+ inch snowfall occurred twice in the same month.”

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