Airlines Canceled Flights as Storms Swept Through Florida


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Southwest Airlines canceled flights over the weekend due to severe weather in Florida.

Maggie Brickman, Reporter

Over the weekend thousands of flights were canceled due to harsh weather conditions across the state of Florida. On Saturday, more than 6,000 flights were delayed and 1,930 were fully canceled. Disruptions continued on Sunday with 1,540 cancellations and almost twice as many delays.  This was an inconvenience for many as this is spring break season for most people.

A spokesman for the Southwest Airlines stated, “The airline waived fare differences for affected customers so they can rebook themselves online without waiting on the phone.”  The airline started the day with about 400 cancellations because aircraft and crews were out of position after Saturday’s weather. The spokesman added, “With widespread cancellations in the midst of a busy travel season, hotel rooms were unavailable in a few cities, and late day crew timeouts in those cities meant that some crew members were left without rooms.”

Thunderstorms and severe weather present numerous difficulties for airlines because cancellations and delays cause planes and crews to be out of their routine. Southwest Airlines suffered significantly, as they had to cancel 520 flights on Saturday and reschedule 1,512 of their flights. Air traffic controllers were forced to slow traffic in several Florida airports including: Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Tampa International Airport. More than one third of Orlando’s departures were canceled and 42 % were delayed.

As weather conditions are expected to improve, flights will stabilize throughout the week.