12,000 flights canceled or delayed

Sharita J. Wilson

Some 12,000 flights were either canceled or delayed over the weekend, stranding hundreds of thousands at airports nationwide as airlines said inclement weather in Florida as well as technical glitches snarled air traffic.

Airlines canceled more than 3,500 domestic flights this weekend and delayed thousands more during the peak of spring break holiday travel.

According to FlightAware, which tracks domestic air travel in the country, more than 3,400 flights were canceled and 8,800 flights were delayed as of Sunday afternoon.

Southwest, the largest domestic carrier in the US, canceled 520 flights on Saturday and 398 flights on Sunday.

The company said storms in Florida were also partly to blame since between 40% and 50% of its flights fly through the Sunshine State on any given day.

The airline cited “intermittent performance issues following routine overnight maintenance of some of [its] backend technology.”

JetBlue plane
JetBlue was among the major US carriers that canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend.
AP

“We offer heartfelt apologies to our customers for any inconvenience, and gratitude to our employees who are working diligently to make it up to them,” the airline wrote in a statement.

“We’ll continue to update customers whose journey with us today might be delayed as result of the now-resolved issues.”

Spirit, whose hub is in Fort Lauderdale, canceled 27% of its flights on Saturday and 27% on Sunday.

JetBlue canceled a quarter of its flights on Sunday and 15% of its Saturday offerings, according to FlightAware.

“Severe weather in the Southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs have created significant impacts on the industry,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in an email.

“Today’s cancellations will help us reset our operation and safely move our crews and aircraft back in to position.”

Florida weather forecast
Airlines said inclement weather in Florida as well as technical glitches were to blame for the cancellations and delays.
The Weather Channel

American Airlines canceled 364 flights on Saturday and 211 more on Sunday.

Alaska Airlines seemed to be dealing with a separate issue.

The airline said Sunday that weekend flight cancellations that began Friday have affected more than 37,000 customers and, further cancellations were possible.

The airline declined to say why it canceled flights, but referred in its statement to contract negotiations with its pilots.

Off-duty pilots picketed in several US cities Friday over stalled negotiations. They have been without a new contract for three years.

“Alaska Airlines failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take the steps necessary to ensure it attracted and retained pilots,” the pilots union said in a Friday press release.

With Post wires

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