Airlines this weekend canceled more than 3,500 flights to the U.S. and postponed thousands more, citing weather in Florida and other issues.
FlightAware, a website that tracks flights, noted severe disruptions at several Florida airports, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando, as well as Baltimore, New York and other airports across the country. JetBlue, southwest, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Spirit and American Airlines suffered the most, according to FlightAware, JetBlue and Spirit canceled one-third of flights on Sunday. Local news reported storms in Florida on Saturday. Several airlines said on Sunday that operations were returning to normal.
A series of cancellations arrived at a time when flights are receding from the pandemic, and high demand for flights for spring break. People on social media complained about waiting in line or queuing for hours to have their canceled flights postponed and left stranded.
“The harsh weather in the south-east and numerous delays in air traffic control have had a significant impact on the industry,” a JetBlue spokesman said in an email. “Today’s cancellations will help us reset our operation and move our crews and aircraft safely into place.”
Southwest Airlines also referred to the “congestion of weather and airspace” on Saturday in Florida, as well as the “problem with technology.” Last weekend, she canceled about 1,000 flights, but said that as of 13:00 in the east of the country on Sunday was no longer canceled.
The American said the weather in Florida on Saturday affected his activities and he is recovering today.
Alaska Airlines seemed to be dealing with a separate issue. The airline said on Sunday that the cancellation of flights on the weekend, which began on Friday, affected more than 37,000 customers, and further cancellations are possible. The airline declined to say why it canceled flights, citing in its statement contract negotiations with its pilots. Pilots who were not on duty picketed in several U.S. cities on Friday due to suspended talks. They have been without a new contract for three years.
“Alaska Airlines has failed to properly plan for increased demand for travel and not take the necessary measures to attract and retain pilots,” a press release from the pilots’ union said Friday.