Christmas Travel Is Brutal Right Now & Flight Cancellations Are Piling Up In The US & Canada

Thousands of flight have been cancelled!

People stranded due to delay at the airport.
Global Staff Writer

People stranded due to delay at the airport.

The huge winter storm ravaging Canada and the U.S. has heavily disrupted travel as more airlines are being forced to cancel and delay flights in the middle of the busy holiday season.

Snow-related cancellations have already affected 10,000 U.S.-based airlines' flights since Wednesday, reported CNBC, and it doesn't seem like the cancellations are slowing down any time soon.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, there were already 1,362 cancellations within and out of the U.S. on Sunday morning.

There have also been another 1,519 flight delays in the U.S.

The intense winter storm is also heavily impacting Canadian travel across the country during the peak travel period, and thousands of people have been stranded at airports.

Toronto Pearson International Airport had recorded 32 flight cancellations and 61 delays as of Sunday morning.

Things were also bad at YYZ on Christmas Eve, when the airport saw 114 cancellations and 266 delays, according to FlightAware.

So far, Montreal Trudeau International Airport has only experienced seven cancellations and 25 delays, which is better than Saturday when it dealt with 23 cancellations and 130 delays.

Bloomberg reported that cancellations and delays have been hitting Canada heavily since Thursday, and Air Canada warned of cancellations from Friday through the weekend and on Christmas Day because of the bad weather.

Air Canada and WestJet also warned that people travelling across the country, including to cities such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, can expect their flights to be impacted.

"We will be adapting to changes in weather conditions through the day as the storm evolves," Air Canada said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The airline's statement also confirmed that a bunch of flights on Friday were "pre-cancelled due to the weather, reduced airport capacity and other operational constraints."

Toronto Pearson Airport addressed the impact of the weather on flight schedules and said that "airlines remain affected by the weather over Western Canada and the U.S. and are still working to recover their operations."

"The GTAA (Greater Toronto Airports Authority) understands WestJet's decision to cancel all operations for Ottawa, Montreal, London, Kitchener and Hamilton for December 23, and both inbound and outbound flights to Toronto Pearson on that day," continued their statement.

Delays and cancellations prompted by the winter storm are hitting during the peak holiday travel season, hindering hundreds of thousands of people's holiday plans.

The most impacted airport seems to be Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport, where there had already been 83 flight cancellations departing from the airport and another 114 cancellations into the airport as of Sunday morning.

Southwest Airlines has already cancelled 405 flights, making it the most impacted airline today so far.

Despite the high number of flight cancellations and delays on Christmas Day, things were looking better in the morning than they were on Saturday.

The U.S. saw 3,488 cancellations and 8,473 delays in total on Saturday, according to FlightAware.

Over 1,300 of the flight cancellations in the U.S. were Southwest Airlines flights, which amounted to about one-third of its scheduled flights.

People who completely scrap their trips because of the delays could be eligible for cash refunds from the airlines.

The high winds, freezing rain and snow are the main culprits behind the travel distributions.

Even the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals experienced travel troubles.

A photo posted on Twitter showing the team waiting at John F Kennedy Airport is going around, and they had to wait for their second plane to make it to their destination.

"Bengals waiting at JFK for 2nd plane after original flight home experienced engine trouble and was forced to make an emergency landing," read the caption of the Twitter post.

If you are scheduled to fly in the U.S. or Canada, check your flight status before heading over to the airport.

Sameen Chaudhry
Global Staff Writer
Sameen Chaudhry was a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and based in Toronto, Ontario.