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Winter storm causes flight delays and cancelations: Southwest Airlines, Delta

Winter Storm Elliot continues to wreak havoc across the United States leaving travels stranded the day after Christmas as thousands of flights are canceled.

Travel chaos in wake of Christmas winter storm

Travel disruptions caused by Winter Storm Elliot that blanketed the northern half of the nation with heavy snow continued into Monday. The bomb cyclone came at an inopportune time as millions of Americans were set to travel for the Christmas holiday.

Lingering effects that storm created threw a wrench in the normal operations of airlines and airports resulting in missing luggage and long lines full of frustrated travelers. Southwest Airlines saw the highest number of cancelations and delays followed by Delta according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

How many flights have been canceled and delayed?

As of Monday evening, nearly 3,700 flights within, into or out of the United States had been canceled and almost 6,300 delayed according to FlightAware data. Southwest Airlines accounted for the bulk of cancelations, 2725, and Delta canceled 607 flights.

The airports experiencing the worst travelling pains were O’Hare in Chicago followed by Denver and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. But the misery for travelers wasn’t limited to those three airports with cancelations and delays elevated across the nation. Some travelers will be stranded for days as airlines struggle to rebook affected passengers on alternate flights.

What can affected airline passengers do?

Given the extent of the disruptions you may have difficulty getting through to customer service. However, Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights told CNN that customers should try calling airlines’ numbers for any one of their international offices. “Agents can handle your reservation just like US-based ones can,” Keyes said. “But there’s virtually no wait to get through.”

If your flight has been cancelled or you are expecting an extended delay, you may be able to get some monetary compensation. While international travelers have established rights, there are no standard requirements for airlines to compensate domestic travelers for their travel woes. However, most airlines have commitments for controllable cancelations and delays.


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