About 1,000 US flights canceled as winter weather snarls travel

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(CNN) — More than 1,000 Monday flights have been canceled in the US as winter weather moves through the middle of the country.

Most of the cancellations so far affect Dallas Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airports in Texas.

As of 5:30 p.m. ET, just over 1,000 flights within, into or out of the United States had been canceled Monday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware, with more than 4,1[ads1]00 delays.

About half of these cancellations are Southwest Airlines flights. The Dallas-based airline, which had an operational shutdown during the holiday, had canceled about 12% of Monday’s schedule — about 480 flights, according to FlightAware.

Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As late as Monday morning, CEO Bob Jordan outlined fixes to prevent a repeat of the airline’s Christmas meltdown.

In contrast, the other Texas-based airline American Airlines canceled 6% of its Monday schedule. American had canceled about 200 US flights by 5:30 p.m. ET Monday.

Regional airline SkyWest had canceled more than 140 flights.

Cancellations were already piling up for Tuesday flights, with about 800 canceled system-wide by early Monday night. Southwest and American had already canceled 8% to 10% of Tuesday’s schedules.

In addition to widespread cancellations in Dallas on Monday and Tuesday, about 200 Monday flights were also canceled in and out of Denver International Airport in Colorado. As of Tuesday, more than 100 flights in and out of Austin, Texas, had already been canceled Monday night.

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, until 6 a.m. Central Time Wednesday.

Weather exemption for travelers

Southwest Airlines issued a winter weather waiver on Sunday and had extended the waiver by noon Monday to a dozen airports in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. The last exemptions apply to journeys from 30 January to 1 February.
American Airlines issued a waiver on Sunday for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) that applies to travel from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.
Delta and United have also granted weather exemptions. Their Monday operations were not significantly affected by cancellations.

Dallas Love Field tweeted Monday that the team “stands ready to treat and clear surfaces to allow safe operations.” DFW also prepared for inclement weather.

Both airports encouraged travelers to check their airline’s status before going to the airport.

Dangerous driving conditions

“If you must travel, slow down and use extreme caution, especially when approaching bridges and overpasses,” the Texas warning said.

Top photo: Motorists in Dallas face wintry conditions. Credit: KTVT

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