Christmas travel: Severe weather causes massive flight disruptions
Southwest Airlines is the most affected US airline
Thousands of flights in the U.S. have been canceled or delayed due to severe winter weather that has disrupted travel nationwide just days before Christmas.
More than 828 flights in, out of and across the U.S. have been delayed as of Sunday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Nearly 1,256 have been canceled, the data shows.
On Saturday, more than 7,855 flights were delayed and nearly 3,457 were canceled.
More than 10,415 flights were delayed and 5,732 were canceled on Friday.
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On Thursday, more than 10,000 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were delayed, and more than 2,500 were canceled. On Wednesday, FlightAware reported more than 8,100 delayed flights.
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Southwest Airlines had the most disruptions of the major U.S. carriers, with 22% of its flights canceled and another 26% delayed as of 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Roughly 54 million passengers are expected to depart from U.S airports over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. Thursday and Friday have been projected as the busiest travel days of the year-end holiday period, with 3.34 million passengers scheduled to fly out each day, according to travel app Hopper.
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Forecasters have predicted that the bad weather consisting of heavy snow, ice and powerful winds is expected to hit various parts of the U.S. from the Plains and Midwest to the East Coast, as soon as Thursday. It's expected to last through Saturday, with a surge of arctic air to follow.
Southwest, American, United and Delta already issued travel waivers for various parts of the country in case a traveler's flight is disrupted. This means the change fee and any difference in fare for certain flights impacted by bad weather are waived by the airline.
FOX Business' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.