Thursday, December 24, 2015

U.S. Flights Hit by Major Weather Delays Ahead of Christmas (VIDEO)

At WSJ, "U.S. Flights Hit by Major Weather Delays":

Fog and storms triggered major flight delays in pockets of the U.S. ahead of Christmas, while airlines were bracing for a winter storm predicted to sweep across much of the country over the weekend.

A line of storms stretching from Louisiana to New York held up arrivals on Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest U.S. airport by traffic, by an average of 2½ hours as of 2 p.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website.

At least 11 people were killed across the South as springlike storms mixed with unseasonably warm weather and spawned rare Christmastime tornadoes, according to the Associated Press.

Delta Air Lines Inc., which operates its largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson, was the most affected carrier, with a third of its mainline flights nationwide delayed, according to, a tracking service.

The Atlanta-based carrier said it had started to cancel some flights as the storms forced planes to divert from Hartsfield.

While earlier delays at airports around Washington and New York caused by the weather had abated by early afternoon, Delta said they could return because of air traffic congestion in other parts of the country.

Nationwide, 3,049 flights were delayed and 349 canceled as of 5 p.m. Thursday on the East Coast. That came after weather issues in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest had triggered the above-average delays and cancellations earlier in the week. Almost 11,000 total flights from Tuesday through Wednesday were delayed, and around 750 canceled, according to FlightAware. On typical winter days, there are about 4,000 delays and 150 cancellations in the U.S.

Dozens of regional jet flights operated on behalf of major airlines by SkyWest Inc. and other carriers have been canceled, according to FlightAware, as well as more than 60 Southwest Airlines Co. services.

American Airline Group Inc. said it had canceled four mainline flights, alongside 84 flown by regional partners. United Continental Holdings Inc. said it wasn’t experiencing major disruptions...