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More than 1,000 flights cancelled as extreme weather batters US

With more than 70 flights called off, Chicago O'Hare International Airport had the most cancellations, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking website.
Last Updated : 10 January 2024, 04:54 IST
Last Updated : 10 January 2024, 04:54 IST

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More than 1,000 domestic and international flights in the United States were canceled Tuesday as extreme weather pummeled the country from coast to coast.

With more than 70 flights called off, Chicago O'Hare International Airport had the most cancellations, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking website. Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington had about 45 canceled flights, followed by New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport and then New York's LaGuardia Airport, both at just more than 40.

The Federal Aviation Administration briefly issued a ground stop at O'Hare Tuesday afternoon, citing excessive snow and ice.

Marc and Mary Dicklin of Ames, Iowa, and members of their family, including their two college-age sons and their fiancees, watched their phones and laptops at Des Moines International Airport as they waited to leave for a ski trip in the Swiss Alps.

Marc Dicklin said that they had been at the airport since 6 am and that their original flight out of Des Moines, Iowa, was canceled just before boarding.

Kayla Kovarna, a spokesperson for the Des Moines Airport Authority, said one of the two main runways at the airport was closed because of wind, and the other was closed from 7 to 11 a.m. as crews plowed and chemically treated its surface. According to FlightAware, at least 13 flights scheduled to depart the airport Tuesday were canceled, and a dozen others were delayed. Kovarna said she expected more disruptions.

Marc Dicklin said Tuesday afternoon that his family's rebooked flight to O'Hare was still showing on information boards as departing on time and that he hoped airport crews in Chicago would keep runways clear for their connecting flight to Zurich as the storm made its way across the Midwest.

His mother, Gisela Dicklin, was traveling with the group. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, Marc Dicklin said, and was eager to return to the area during the winter months.

"Keep your fingers crossed," she said.

But as Tuesday evening approached, they learned that their flight to Chicago had been canceled and that they had been rebooked on an outbound flight Thursday morning. A six-day Swiss ski getaway had suddenly been cut to four days.

Marc Dicklin tried to keep a sense of perspective.

"It's a day we will remember, and you don't remember most of them," he said.

Not all of the disruptions Tuesday were related to the weather. Hundreds of flights were canceled as airlines planned to inspect nearly 200 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the midair blowout of a panel on an Alaska Airlines Max 9 in a near-disastrous accident Friday night.

The travel plans of some passengers could be disrupted for days.

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Published 10 January 2024, 04:54 IST

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