Inclement Weather Threatens Holiday Travel

Passengers at DFW airport wait in line during winter blast | Image by WFAA

Hundreds of flights across the United States are being canceled due to a winter storm sweeping across the nation.

This same winter storm, while not producing substantial snowfall in Texas, has dropped temperatures into the teens, potentially creating a hard freeze, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

This weather system will bring “life-threatening conditions” likely to disrupt travel across the United States. The storm is predicted to produce prolonged damaging winds, snowfall, and arctic air across the nation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that over 47,000 flights are scheduled for December 22.

As of midnight on December 23, 5,930 Thursday flights were recorded as canceled, and over 25,000 had been delayed due to the incoming inclement weather. Of Friday’s scheduled flights, 4,362 had already been delayed, and 4,764 canceled.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) said in a press release that holiday air travel is expected to see a 14% increase over 2021, with nearly 7.2 million Americans expected to fly.

Overall, AAA estimated that 112.7 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home between December 23 and January 2, which would make 2022 the third-busiest year for holiday travel since AAA began tracking numbers in 2000.

Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of travel, said that travel times are predicted to increase substantially due to Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays.

“With hybrid work schedules, we are seeing more people take long weekends to travel because they can work remotely at their destination and be more flexible with the days they depart and return,” said Twidale in the press release.

DFW Airport tweeted that it projected 215,000 passengers on December 22, when the cold front was expected to arrive. The airport projects 217,000 guests for December 23.

The airport said on December 22 that it has made preparations for subfreezing temperatures and advises customers to check the status of their flights due to other regions of the U.S. experiencing severe weather.

Note: This story was updated on December 23 at 12:08 a.m.

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