Winter storm disrupts holiday flights

MGN Online

HARLINGEN — The major winter storm which swept across the nation over the past week has now reached the Northeast, producing heavy snow and some sleet, and continuing to disrupt air traffic across the country.

So far, Valley International Airport has seen few disruptions to its flights, although some delays were reported Monday morning for Sun Country Airlines flights.

Despite the delays, no flights to VIA were canceled, said Bryan Wren, assistant director of aviation, in an email Monday.

Elsewhere, air travelers in the United States were not so lucky.

As of Monday, around 1,000 flights since Saturday had been canceled nationwide with another approximately 8,000 flights delayed, according to the flight-tracking firm FlightAware.

More travel problems are expected through Tuesday, with the National Weather Service reporting as many as six to 12 inches of snow accumulating by Tuesday night in the Northeast.

The Dec. 1 weekend was one of the biggest travel weekends of the year as Thanksgiving passengers returned home.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, American Airlines had more than 27,000 departures scheduled with more than 2.6 million passengers, USA Today reported.

Several airlines are issuing waivers to allow travelers who have booked flights on specific dates heading to and from certain cities, giving them the option to change or cancel their flights without paying an additional fee. Among those airlines are American, Jet Blue, United, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.

Although some were delayed, Sun Country flights to Harlingen did make it through the weather to land in Harlingen. One Sun Country airliner on Monday became the first to use the airport’s new jet bridge installed last month.