The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

A series of winter storms has caused a spike in flight cancellations, headaches for travellers

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - It's been a rough start of the year for fliers.

A series of winter storms have led airlines to cancel more than 33,000 flights during the first three weeks of this year. That's more cancellations than in January 2013 and January 2012 combined, according to masFlight, a data and software company specializing in airline operations.

"It's been miserable," said John DiScala, who runs the travel advice site JohnnyJet.com and flies around 150,000 miles each year. "There's so few vacant seats, so when they cancel one flight, trying to get onto another flight is next to impossible."

Many stranded passengers have had to wait days — and in a few extreme case up to a week — to get a seat on a flight out.

"I think travel agents are starting to look good to many people," DiScala added. "At times like this, who wants to be on the phone, literally for hours, trying to get rebooked."

One expert suggests passengers may want to take an extra precaution.

"If there's one good time to buy travel insurance it's during winter," said George Hobica, founder of travel deal site AirfareWatchdog.com.

"This winter has been a one-two-three punch so far and there are eight weeks to go," Hobica said. "It seems like airlines are cancelling flights more than ever and sooner than ever at the approach of a storm."

The hardest hit cities so far this winter: New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

There are roughly 30,000 daily flights in the United States. On a typical day with no weather disruptions about 200 of those flights are cancelled, mostly for mechanical reasons.

The cancelled trips still represent a small share of the total number of flights — about 5 per cent — and aren't expected to have a major impact on most airlines' profits. While airlines lose out on revenue from cancelled flights, they also don't have to pay for jet fuel and some salaries.

__

Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

In the Key of Bart: Can’t It Be Nice This Time?

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • Water lilys are reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

View Results

Ads by Google