Winter Storm Caly Wreaks Havoc on Flights in Midwest

Dec 12, 2016

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Yesterday was a rough day for flights headed through the Midwest US. Winter storm “Caly” dumped more than six inches of snow in at least eight states, grounding flights across the region. FlightAware’s cancellation statistics tallied 1,842 canceled flights in the US on Sunday, mostly due to the winter storm.

Chicago was hardest hit, with a combined 1,407 canceled flights into or out of O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) — accounting for nearly half of all scheduled flights. Meanwhile, Detroit (DTW) was set back by 252 flight cancellations and Toronto (YYZ) experienced 211 cancellations.

Some passengers who did arrive in Detroit experienced an especially bumpy ride. The weather was bad enough in Detroit that it sent a Delta plane sliding off the runway after landing. Thankfully, none of the 65 passengers or five crew were hurt in the incident. One passenger even found the experience “epic”:

Although the storm is moving away from major airports today, the effects from yesterday’s cancellations are still having an impact. Even before departures began this morning, 165 flights had already been canceled in the US — including 67 in or out of Chicago airports and 46 flights to/from DTW.

If you’re in an area affected by the winter storm, several airlines have issued travel waivers allowing your to change your flights with no change fee. Check your airline’s current travel waiver here:

As we get into the colder and more-stormy months, make sure you’re factoring in potential delays and cancellations into your travel plans. If you haven’t booked your winter flights yet, make sure to use a credit card that offers solid flight delay/cancellation insurance. Top choices are the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) or Chase Sapphire Preferred ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

Are you being affected by this winter storm?

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