US flight cancellations top 2,800 by end of Christmas Day

Atlanta (CNN) — With much of the United States still reeling from a nearly week-long winter storm, flight cancellations and delays and other transportation issues continued to pile up on the day of Christmas.

More than 2,800 flights within, to or from the United States have already been canceled as of 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. And the delays of flights still able to take off were around 6,700. Christmas Day is traditionally a light day for passenger flights.

Demonstrating the scale and widespread effects of the storm, it was an airport in the Deep South and another in the West that were the most affected on Christmas Day. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) — the world’s busiest airport for passengers — had the second-highest number of cancellations and delays at 10 p.m. Sunday.

The No. 1 was over 1,000 miles into the Rockies with Denver International. And even further west, Harry Reid International (LAS) in Las Vegas had the third highest number of cancellations.

Denver International kept a sense of humor during the stressful event, post a tweet of what appeared to be an airport employee playing “Jingle Bells” on a violin.

The effects of the storm in parts of the West are easing, however. The temperature at 8 p.m. MT at Denver International was still above freezing at 38°F (3°C).

In hard-hit Western New York, things were still too tough for humor.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) tweeted that it would remain fully closed until 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 27 – extension of a closure originally scheduled to end at 11 a.m. Monday.

The temperature at BUF at 10 p.m. ET was 20°F (-7°C) with winds of 24 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

A difficult week to fly

A pair of travelers sleep while others line up to pass a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on Friday.

David Zalubowski/AP

The arrival of the massive storm was untimely for travelers who had begun to push the number of Christmas week flights back to pre-pandemic levels.

On Christmas Eve, there were a total of 3,487 canceled flights, according to FlightAware. Friday was the worst day with 5,934 cancellations, while Thursday saw nearly 2,700 cancellations.

This winter weather megablast in the eastern two-thirds of the country is expected to slowly moderate over the last week of the year. As of 5:30 p.m. ET, there were still more than 260 preemptive cancellations for Monday.

Bus and train service

On Sunday morning, Greyhound released its latest bus service disruptions, which centered on routes to and from Buffalo and Syracuse in New York.
If you are taking a Greyhound bus, you can click here for the latest information about your bus.
Amtrak’s latest service alert was issued on Friday. He then said the inclement weather “caused Amtrak to perform multiple services and cancellations through Sunday, December 25.”
The rail company said affected customers should be able to catch trains departing at similar times or on a different day. You can click here for the latest Amtrak service alerts on delays or @AmtrakAlerts on Twitter. Go to @AmtrakNECAlerts for Northeast alerts.

CNN’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.

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