Are Flights Still Being Affected By Winter Storm Jonas? The Latest Updates Show Thousands Of Downed Flights
It's easy to see blizzard effects on the ground. Feet of snow, massive traffic jams, empty grocery shelves: All you need to do is look around to understand just how bad the northeast is being hit. But way up above the clouds, the massive amounts of snow being dumped on the ground is still wreaking havoc. Winter Storm Jonas has grounded over 9,000 flights, and the number is still growing. In other words, if you're in one of the affected areas, don't bother looking at Flight Tracker — your flight is probably canceled.
As of Saturday afternoon, 9,500 weekend flights have been canceled across the U.S, according to USA Today. Saturday saw the most cancelations at 4,340, with Friday coming up behind it at 3,100. There are currently 1,510 flights canceled for Sunday, but that number is expected to grow before tomorrow. Flights have been halted completely at Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington International, and Washington Dulles and Reagan airports.
All of those are in the eye of the storm, so it's unsurprising that airports would cancel flights that could potentially put pilots and passengers in unsafe conditions. But Jonas' effects have extended down to the southwest, causing dozens of canceled flights in the sunny and clear Austin. Additionally, nearly 200 flights have been canceled coming out of Orlando's major hub.
Meanwhile, though it hasn't been canceled in its entirety, travel out of New York's two major airports has almost completely halted in the face of nearly 30 inches of projected snowfall. According to Forbes, airline phone lines have been jammed all day, and airlines are having a difficult time finding hotel accommodations for stranded passengers. That means that many people will be doing the uncomfortable squirm of sleeping in waiting lounge seats.
As the New York Times notes, if your flight is canceled and the next flight isn't available for several hours, you may request a booking on another airline. If that doesn't work, you can at least nudge them for a food voucher while you wait for your scheduled flight, or a discount at a nearby hotel room. But with travel bans in New York and many other places, it may be hard to even get to a nearby discount motel. Also, as the piece points out rather grimly, airlines aren't required to give you anything. Let's hope the icy weather hasn't also frozen their hearts to the thousands of stranded travelers.