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Airlines cancel hundreds of flights Monday as weekend mess spills into new week

April 04, 2022
4 min read
JetBlue plane
Airlines cancel hundreds of flights Monday as weekend mess spills into new week
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A messy weekend for air travel spilled into Monday, with more than 550 flights canceled across the United States.

The cancelations at the start of the workweek came as airlines worked to fix an operation thrown into disarray on Saturday, when a series of severe thunderstorms in Florida forced carriers to cancel more than 1,900 flights around the country, according to FlightAware. Another 1,500 were canceled on Sunday.

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As with similar episodes over the past year, the episode led to a ripple effect of ongoing delays and cancellations as airlines repositioned aircraft and crews once operations were able to resume in the affected areas, and scrambled to replace crew members who had timed out mid-trip because of the delays.

JetBlue was among the hardest hit airlines on Sunday, with 373 flights canceled, or about 34% of its schedule. Southwest saw 400 cancellations — 10% of its schedule — while Spirit canceled 308 flights, or 37%. American Airlines canceled 271 flights — or 8% — while Delta, Alaska and United canceled at most a few dozen each.

Although cancellations continued on Monday, things appeared to be trending in the right direction. Spirit still had 234 canceled flights, or 29% of the schedule, by 1 p.m. ET, while JetBlue canceled 137, or 13%. Cancellations on Southwest were down to 59, or about 1%.

Even with cancelation rates improving on Monday, the impact of the weekend's issues continued with passengers taking to Twitter saying that they'd been told by airlines that they would not be able to be reaccomodated for as much as two or three days.

In a statement provided to TPG on Sunday, a spokesperson for JetBlue said that the airline was working to correct its operation following the impact of the Florida storms, which was amplified by air traffic control traffic management patterns.

Related: Here’s what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled

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"We have unfortunately had to cancel flights this weekend, and today’s cancellations will help us reset our operation and safely move our crews and aircraft back in to position," the statement said. "We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and we are working to get them on their way as quickly as possible."

A spokesperson for Southwest said that overnight maintenance work on its technology platform Friday into Saturday had added to the issue, but noted in a statement that only seven flights had been canceled specifically because of that — the airline attributed the rest to the Florida weather and airspace congestion.

"We have all hands on deck to get delayed Customers and their bags onto available flights and we’re sharing additional guidance and wide flexibility to self-serve travel changes," the spokesperson said.

Air travel has been heavily affected by storms since early-winter, with continuous bad weather compounding operational difficulties during the holiday period linked to the spread of the omicron variant.

About 20,000 flights to, from and within the U.S. were canceled between Dec. 22 and Jan. 3.

Related: Snapshot: 1 in 13 flights were canceled during the holidays. How US airlines fared

The ongoing impact of storms has been exacerbated by surging travel demand, with domestic leisure demand surpassing 2019 levels. The trend is expected to continue through the summer travel season, particularly as international destinations lift various pandemic-linked restrictions.

Following disruptions last fall, airlines including Southwest and Spirit said that they were planning to increase hiring in order to build more slack in their systems to recover from operational disruptions. Every major U.S. airline has said they plan to add staff this year.

If you find yourself facing a canceled flight or severe delay, here are TPG’s tips for managing those flight delays and cancellations.

Featured image by (Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

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  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

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  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees