Predicted to be the biggest snowstorm in years, Winter Storm Gail causes chaos in airports as US airlines cut flights.
On December 17, 2020, more than 600 flights were cancelled: 48% of flights at Boston Logan International Airport, 42% of flights at LaGuardia, and 27% of flights at both Kennedy and Newark Airports were cancelled, according to the FlightAware data. On December 16, 2020, more than 700 US flights were cancelled.
“A widespread swath of heavy, wet snow is likely from the central Appalachians and interior Mid-Atlantic into portions of the Northeast and southern New England. Freezing rain and ice are also likely in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Travel is not recommended,” said the National Weather Service.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Delta Air Lines warned traveling passengers about the possible disruptions and allowed them to rebook their flights within the next 14 days. American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) issued a travel alert for 37 airports across 13 states and Washington, DC, and also announced a rebooking option.
On December 17, 2020, Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo aircraft slid off the runway at Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) after a powerful winter storm created slick conditions. No serious injuries were reported.
“Our winter weather team has worked throughout the day to maintain safe surfaces in the airfield and near the terminal,” tweeted BWI Airport a day before the accident. “Crews remain on standby to maintain safe operations this evening and in the morning.”