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More than 1,300 cancellations as airlines try to recover from winter storms

Feb. 05, 2022
3 min read
An American Airlines Group Inc. plane is seen during snowfall at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. The National Weather Service reports that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has received 14.1 inches of snow so far in February, more than twice the annual average and the snowiest month in more than 30 years, according to the Associated Press. Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg
More than 1,300 cancellations as airlines try to recover from winter storms
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A massive storm earlier in the week continued to make flying a challenge this weekend as airlines struggle to get operations back to normal. The storms have passed, but the impact lingers on.

On Friday, more than 4,000 flights were canceled into, out of or within the U.S., according to flight tracking company Flight Aware.

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It was a better Saturday, with just over 1,300 U.S. cancellations, but that's still a lot of folks out of place and upset. American Airlines is the hardest hit today with more than 845 canceled flights ... that's a whopping 30% of its schedule.

Most of that is attributable to the residual effect of bad weather that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research, who said American was struggling "getting parts and people back where they need to be."

"We’re in recovery mode and the impact you’re seeing is a result of that," American Airlines told TPG in an email on Saturday.

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

American essentially shut down its massive Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) hub, according to Tim Jue, a San Francisco-based reporter covering airlines and travel.

Jue told me:

"DFW is American’s biggest hub, and when you shut down that operation — even for a few hours — it has ripple effects throughout the network. The major challenge for restarting an operation after irregular operations is pandemic-era staffing strains. Airlines are great at getting things back up and running after big storms, but having fewer staff on hand complicates and slows that effort."

American affiliate Envoy Air also canceled many flights on Saturday — about 14% of its schedule.

Better news from Southwest, which only canceled 3% of its flights today. That compares to 439 canceled flights on Friday about 12% of its schedule.

Related: 6 real-life strategies to use if your flight is canceled

It's been a rough few weeks for the airlines as cancellations that began the week before Christmas have continued into the second month of the new year. According to a TPG analysis, one out of every 13 flights was canceled over the holidays.

The good news is that the major storms have moved on, and things are looking up for Sunday. As of 4 p.m. on Saturday, only 63 flights are canceled for tomorrow.

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images
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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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases