After thousands of U.S.or delayed over the holidays in 2022, most are off to a cheerier start this Christmas. But a few trouble spots were emerging on Christmas Day.
Roughly 135 flights to, from or within the U.S. had been been cancelled as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, while just over 1,100 were delayed, according to tracking service FlightAware.
Airlines had canceled only 1.2% of U.S. flights so far this year as of Dec. 22, the lowest in five years. Nearlywere expected to pass through domestic airports during the busy holiday period, up 16% from 2022.
Southwest flights canceled
Not everyone got off so lucky. Some passengers at Chicago’s Midway International Airport this Christmas Eve were left stranded on Christmas Eve,, with the U.S. carrier most disrupted during last year’s holiday period — Southwest Airlines — again experiencing problems. Southwest attributed the delays to foggy weather in Chicago, but passengers also told CBS2 that a shortage of workers was a factor.
Those snafus also affected passengers at Denver International Airport, with Southwest canceling 293 flights on Sunday, while nearly 1,300 trips were delayed, FlightAware data shows.
“We had dense fog in Chicago that forced us to discontinue operating last night and into this morning,” Chris Mainz, a Southwest Airlines spokesman,.
Southwest on Monday morning canceled 101 flights, or 2% of its daily trips, while 397 flights were delayed, FlightAware data showed. By comparison, Delta and United Airlines canceled five flights.
“[Y]ou guys ruined my Christmas two years in a row,” one person posted Friday on X.
Meanwhile, a winter storm in the Northern Plains is bringing snow, ice and riskier road conditions Monday to the region stretching from northern Kansas through Nebraska, the Dakotas and parts of Weather Channel reported., the
Southwest earlier this month agreed to awith the federal government over the chaos last year that stranded more than 2 million travelers over the holidays. Southwest has previously agreed to pay more than $600 million in refunds and reimbursements to customers.
“This is a message to the entire airline industry: They must take care of passengers, or we’ll use the full extent of our authority to hold them accountable,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted on Dec. 18.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.