Winter Weather and Boeing 737 Max 9 Grounding Cause Thousands of U.S. Flight Cancellations

Airlines Face Flight Cancellations and Delays Due to Winter Weather and Grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 Planes

Winter Storms Cause Flight Disruptions

Airlines had to cancel approximately 2,000 flights in the United States on Friday, as they dealt with winter weather conditions and the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes (Boeing).

According to flight-tracker FlightAware, more than 4,500 flights experienced delays, primarily caused by storms in the Midwest. Major disruptions were reported in Chicago and Detroit, two major hubs for major U.S. carriers.

Disruptions at Chicago and Detroit Airports

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, a hub for United Airlines (United Airlines) and American Airlines (American Airlines), saw the cancellation of approximately 40% of its flights. A snowstorm led to a ground stop of over two hours. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, a hub for Delta Air Lines (Delta Air Lines), reported that about 20% of its flights were either delayed or canceled due to the storms.

Southwest Airlines and Flight Disruptions

Southwest Airlines (Southwest Airlines, which operates a significant operation out of Chicago Midway, had to cancel more than 400 flights and experienced over 900 delays.

Cancellations and Delays by United Airlines

United Airlines had to cancel approximately 10% of its mainline flights and experienced delays in around 20% of its flights.

Continued Impact of Boeing 737 Max 9 Grounding

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after an incident on an Alaska Airlines (Alaska Airlines flight, where a door plug blew off. This grounding continues to cause travel disruptions for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, the only two U.S. airlines operating these aircraft.

Flight Cancellations by Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines announced the cancellation of all flights on the Max 9 planes through Sunday, as it awaits documentation from Boeing and the FAA to begin inspections. Approximately 20% of the carrier’s flights were canceled on Friday, and over 10% experienced delays, according to FlightAware data. Alaska Airlines estimates that between 110 and 150 flights per day will be affected by the grounding of the Max 9 planes.

The company expressed regret for the significant disruption caused to their guests by the cancellations resulting from the grounding of these aircraft.

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