More than a thousand U.S. domestic and international flights were canceled Tuesday as severe weather hit the country from coast to coast.
With more than 70 canceled flights, Chicago O’Hare International Airport recorded the highest number of cancellations, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking website. Ronald Reagan National Airport had about 45 canceled flights, followed by Newark Liberty International Airport and then La Guardia Airport, both with just over 40.
The Federal Aviation Administration briefly made a stop at O’Hare Tuesday afternoon, citing excess snow and ice.
Marc and Mary Dicklin of Ames, Iowa, and members of their family, including their two college-age sons and their fiancées, looked at their phones and laptops at Des Moines International Airport as they waited to depart for a ski trip to the Swiss Alps.
Mr. Dicklin said they had been at the airport since 6 a.m. and their original flight from Des Moines was canceled just before boarding.
Kayla Kovarna, a spokeswoman for the Des Moines Airport Authority, said one of the airport’s two main runways was closed because of wind and the other was closed from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the morning while crews plowed and chemically treated its surface. At least 13 flights scheduled to depart from the airport on Tuesday were canceled and a dozen more were delayed, according to FlightAware. Ms Kovarna said she expected more disruption.
Mr. Dicklin said Tuesday afternoon that his family’s modified flight to O’Hare still appeared on information boards as leaving on time, and that he hoped Chicago airport crews would keep the runways cleared for their connecting flight to Zurich as the storm made its appearance. across the Midwest.
Her mother, Gisela Dicklin, traveled with the group. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, Mr. Dicklin said, and was eager to return to the area during the winter months.
“Fingers crossed,” she said.
But as Tuesday evening approached, they learned that their flight to Chicago had been canceled and that they had been booked on an outbound flight Thursday morning. A six-day ski trip to Switzerland had suddenly been reduced to four days.
Mr. Dicklin tried to maintain some perspective.
“It’s a day we will remember, and you don’t remember most of them,” he said.
Not all of Tuesday’s disruptions were weather-related. Hundreds of flights were canceled as airlines planned to inspect nearly 200 Boeing 737 Max 9s. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the in-flight explosion of a panel on an Alaska Airlines Max 9 during ‘a near disastrous accident Friday evening.
Some passengers’ travel plans could be disrupted for days.