December 23, 2022 winter storm news

A passenger checks flight departures showing cancellations at Laguardia Airport, Friday, Dec. 23, in New York City. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

With thousands of flights across the country canceled due to harsh winter weather, many Americans can no longer spend the holidays with their families.

Shane Phillips is among those who will spend Christmas alone this year, due to a canceled flight.

Phillips told CNN he was about to fly from Los Angeles to Seattle to visit family, but when he woke up Friday morning his Alaska Airlines flight had been canceled.

It would have been the first time Phillips had returned to Washington state since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I would say they are upset,” he said of his family. “But they’re the ones experiencing crazy weather, so they understand,” he said.

Phillips says he feels mostly disappointment but not much surprise.

“I knew the weather was supposed to be bad, but I was hoping to get there before the freezing rain arrived,” he said.

Phillips’ family lives about two hours north of Seattle, so if he got to the airport, he says he could have been stranded.

“They totally shut down transit, so I don’t know how I would have left the airport,” Phillips said.

Other airlines had flights available for Saturday, but Phillips said they were priced at $1,000 one way, “which is just too much,” he said.

“I would still love to be there,” Phillip said, adding that he “should just try to visit some other time of year.”

Phillips says he will do his best to spend Christmas alone – as he will now be attending a friend’s Christmas party which he would have missed had he traveled to Seattle.


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