Thousands of flights have been disrupted as the U.S. braces for a winter storm that's expected to hit a large swath of the country.
More than 765 flights in, out of and across the U.S. have been delayed as of 4:00 a.m. Sunday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Nearly 1,238 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.
On Thursday, more than 10,028 flights in, out of and across the U.S. were delayed and nearly 2,539 were canceled.
On Wednesday, FlightAware reported more than 8,100 delayed flights.
Roughly 54 million passengers are expected to depart from U.S airports over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. Thursday and Friday are projected to be 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.
Forecasters have predicted that the bad weather consisting of heavy snow, ice, flood 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 Air Lines 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.
FlightAware spokesperson Kathleen Bangs said the 2021 travel season has the highest amount of cancelations, over 5%, in the past decade. That was "due in part to bad weather, including a big pacific-northwest storm – but mainly due to high airline and airport worker absenteeism from the widespread COVID-19 omicron variant," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.