U.S. airlines cancelled more than 1,350 flights and another 7,300 were running late on Friday, a fitting end to a miserable week for travellers.
The airlines blamed storms along the East Coast and high winds in the country’s interior.
At New York’s LaGuardia Airport and in Philadelphia, about one-fourth of flights were scrubbed and many more delayed. At O’Hare Airport in Chicago, where there was a high-wind advisory, one-third of takeoffs were late.
Most of the cancellations and delays occurred on regional airlines that operate connecting flights for the big carriers. They use smaller planes that carry fewer customers, making them a prime target for scrapping when bad weather limits the number of flights that can get out.
By early evening, about 1,800 flights on United Express, nearly 1,400 on US Airways Express, 1,100 on Delta Connection and nearly 900 on American Eagle had landed late or were behind schedule, according to an analysis by FlightAware.com.
The tracking service said 6,000 flights have been cancelled and 35,000 delayed this week. Total cancellations since Dec. 1 have passed 81,000. That’s the most in the winter season since the government started keeping track in 1987-1988. And there’s still a month of winter left.