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Airlines Face Extreme Weather Conditions

Image Commercially Licensed
Image Commercially Licensed

There are blizzards and below-freezing temperatures in several parts of the United States. There has been a lot of snowfall. Therefore several airlines have had to cancel some flights.

Mailing services have also been affected by the harsh weather. Experts caution that because it might be fatal, some areas need to exercise additional caution. In advance of the Christmas holiday, airline companies have rescheduled almost 2,800 flights. According to sources, the airports in Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, and Denver International Airport have seen the most flight cancellations. In addition, airlines warned that the icy winds, snow, and cold temperatures might impact interstate travel.

“It’s all hands on deck to ensure our customers are cared for during the holiday travel season, including when severe weather hits. Critical to our preparations was sizing the airline for the resources we have available and operating conditions we face, as well as being able to react quickly to get our customers on their way once the weather clears,” said American in a press release.

Several airlines have already granted weather waivers for a sizeable chunk of their domestic flights. Ironically, airlines were anticipating a recovery from their losses during the holidays. Before the arrival of the cold weather, three of the biggest airlines in the nation forecasted millions of dollars in income because of the increased demand for holiday travel. However, some airlines’ estimates may be harmed by this condition.

“We are seeing a lot of strength for the holidays or approaching the Thanksgiving time period, and our bookings are incredibly strong. However, the bookings are a little bit different this year, and they’re more spread out across multiple days than they were on any single day,” said United Airlines chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella months ago.

“We see airfare to those top destinations, the ones with the highest demand at the holidays, are much higher than they typically are at this time of year. And they’re only going to increase from here,” Hopper lead economist Hayley Berg explained.

“We’re going to have fewer flights available and more travelers looking to go home or go on vacation for the holidays. That means that you might be paying a much higher price and unable to get a seat on the specific flight you want to take,” Berg said.

“Most travelers will want to fly a few days before the holiday and return a few days after. That means prices are those dates are going to be extremely high, capacity is going to sell out, and airports are going to be chaotic,” she added.

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The bomb cyclone

This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as a bomb cyclone. Google searches for bomb cyclones have spiked in recent days. A sudden drop in air pressure that quickly intensifies into a storm causes the weather anomaly.

“Bombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone,” writes the National Ocean Service.

This might happen within minutes. And scientists claim that the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and northern Rockies are only a few regions in the US where this occurs. In addition, at least 24 states are preparing for the looming danger, which may result in coastal flooding and flash-freezing on roadways.

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Airlines have laid out some advice for passengers

Airline professionals have provided some doable solutions to combat the substantial flight cancellations and delays that occur throughout the Christmas season. First, experts advise travelers to see if airlines provide free rebooking for canceled or delayed flights to save some money. If confused, passengers are advised to call the DOT’s hotline to learn the right and legitimate ways to handle flight cancellations.

“Scheduling the first flight of the day is a great way to avoid flight delays. Studies show that the first flights of the day are more likely to leave on time and arrive on time,” says CEO Jeff Klee.

“If an airline cancels a passenger’s flight or makes a significant change in the flight, regardless of the reason, airlines are required to provide a prompt refund to a ticketed passenger, including those with non-refundable tickets, should the passenger choose not to accept the alternative offered, such as rebooking on another flight. Learn more about your right to a refund,” says the DOT.

“The number one thing, and I cannot stress this enough, is that you must get to the airport early and well before your flight time. “If you are traveling with a lot of luggage or packages to check in, for example, arriving two hours early may not cut it,” adds Unifi Aviation CEO Gautam Thakkar

“The best way to ensure all luggage arrives safely to a traveler’s destination is to not check a bag. Packing light and carrying on is a great way to save money and have peace of mind that your luggage will make it to your destination with you,” added Klee.