Airlines canceled more than 3,300 US flights over the weekend and delayed thousands more, citing Florida weather and other issues.
FlightAware, a website that tracks flights, noted major disruptions at several Florida airports, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, as well as Baltimore and other airports nationwide. JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Spirit and American Airlines were the hardest hit, according to FlightAware. Local news reported storms in Florida on Saturday. Several airlines said on Sunday that operations were returning to normal.
The wave of cancellations came as air travel rebounded from the pandemic, with strong demand for spring break flights.
“Severe weather in the southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs have created significant impacts on the industry,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in an email. “Today’s cancellations will help us reset our operations and get our crews and planes back in place safely.”
Southwest Airlines also cited “weather and airspace congestion” on Saturday in Florida, as well as a “technology issue.”
American said Florida weather on Saturday affected its operations and is recovering today.
Alaska Airlines said its weekend flight cancellations that began Friday affected more than 37,000 customers and said Sunday that further cancellations were possible. The airline declined to say why it had canceled flights, but referred in its statement to contract negotiations with its pilots. Pilots on leave picketed several U.S. cities on Friday for stalled negotiations. They have been without a new contract for three years.
“Alaska Airlines has failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take the necessary steps to ensure it attracts and retains pilots,” the pilots’ union said in a statement. press Friday.
People on social media have complained about the waiting hours and queues to get their canceled flights rescheduled.