Flights cancellations keep racking up at DC airports

Across the U.S. nearly 5,000 flights were canceled the weekend of News Year’s Day. Here in the D.C region, hundreds of flights were canceled and more will likely rack up in the coming days.

On Saturday, Southwest canceled more than 450 flights nationwide, or 13% of its schedule. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines scrubbed more than 200 flights each, and United Airlines canceled more than 150.

The airlines blame staffing shortages due to the omicron variant and winter weather across the country.

At Reagan National, a total 51 flights in and out were canceled Saturday. Dulles didn’t fare much better with 46 flights canceled New Year’s Day, according to Flight Aware.

On Sunday morning, around 40 had already been canceled Reagan and 21 at Dulles for the day. If you add BWI to the mix that’s about 260 flights canceled for the weekend.

This adds to the dizzying count of cancellations over the holidays. More than 12,000 U.S. flights have been canceled since Dec. 24.

And some of the busiest days of holiday travel are still coming according to Orlando Willis with Scott’s cheap flights, “We’re expecting a lot of people to be flying home on Jan. 2 and 3.”

Dozens of flights are already being canceled for Monday, notably in and out of Reagan National.  

And with D.C. facing a winter weather advisory for most of Monday where we may see heavy snow — dozens more will likely be canceled.

“Check your flight status,” Willis said.

Airlines say they are taking steps to reduce cancellations. United is offering to pay pilots triple or more of their usual wages for picking up open flights through most of January. Spirit Airlines reached a deal with the Association of Flight Attendants for double pay for cabin crews through Tuesday, said a union spokeswoman.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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