Tags: weather | cold | Delta | United

Delta Joins United Restoring Flights as Weather Warms

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 10:46 AM

Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines are scrapping fewer trips as warmer weather lets them restore schedules after winter storms erased more than 11,000 U.S. flights in four days and marooned millions of fliers.

Cancellations for the day totaled 584 at 7:10 a.m. New York time, according to industry data tracker FlightAware.com, a sign that airlines expect better conditions. Yesterday’s tally in the U.S. fell to 2,692, down from 4,110 on Jan. 6, FlightAware reported.

“Decent weather and temperatures not as cold” as yesterday will help Atlanta-based Delta resume normal operations, said Morgan Durrant, a spokesman.

With only four canceled flights early today, Delta’s rate was running at less than 1 percent, a pace that would be typical of a day without any weather disruptions at the third-largest U.S. airline. Cancelations at American Airlines Group Inc. and United, the two biggest U.S. carriers, were 1 percent of today’s timetable, FlightAware reported.

Delta scrubbed 890 flights yesterday, up from 397 on Jan. 6, with all but 40 of those involving regional partner airlines, Durrant said. Cold weather affecting regional flights at Delta’s Detroit hub and cities feeding flights into Detroit caused the skipped flights.

JetBlue Airways Corp. resumed service yesterday in the New York area and Boston after a 17-hour suspension to reposition planes and crews.

Lost Luggage

After record-low temperatures in much of the country over the past several days, the National Weather Service predicted the climate to begin moderating today.

Even as passengers start to make their way home, their luggage may lag behind. A video posted to the photo-sharing site Instagram showed scores of bags jamming carousels at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, where 46 percent of flights were delayed or canceled yesterday, according to FlightAware.com.

“There’s definitely quite a backlog,” Brad Hawkins, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest carrier at Midway, said in a telephone interview. “We’re working through that as we are with all the people whose flights have been canceled. It’s definitely still a pain point for us and our employees.”

Stranded Travelers

JetBlue added 25 extra flights yesterday to fetch travelers stranded as far away as South America after its shutdown at New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty and Boston Logan.

About 150,000 customers were affected when JetBlue canceled 1,800 flights from Jan. 2 through yesterday, Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster said on a conference call yesterday. Some passengers had multiple flights grounded.

The additional flights were targeted at airports with the most marooned travelers, Anders Lindstrom, a spokesman, said in an interview. JetBlue’s shutdown in the Northeast began at 5 p.m. New York time on Jan. 6 and lifted at 10 a.m. yesterday.

Compensation for idled JetBlue passengers may include travel vouchers, extra awards in the carrier’s loyalty program or financial reimbursement, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis, Lindstrom said. He said JetBlue expects to have all travelers “at their final destination in the next few days.”

Amtrak, the government-owned passenger railroad, said it will operate a partial schedule today on the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston because of the cold. The weather has caused problems with overhead wires that deliver electricity to locomotives.

Acela, the fastest train Amtrak operates, will continue running less frequently in the region. The Empire Service between New York City and points west of Albany, New York, and the Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, also may have schedule changes, the Washington-based railroad said in an e-mailed statement.

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Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines are scrapping fewer trips as warmer weather lets them restore schedules after winter storms erased more than 11,000 U.S. flights in four days and marooned millions of fliers.
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2014-46-08
Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 10:46 AM
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