Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Flight Cancellations Accelerating

I know the weather was truly awful today in parts of the far Midwest and the Plains. But flight cancellation numbers keep mounting as evidence that airlines might be simply scratching a lot more flights to keep them from being listed as badly delayed.

Stats are from the invaluable Flightstats.com:

--As of 8.30 p.m. Central time today, Chicago O'Hare had 810 arrivals and departures canceled .

-- Kansas City had 338 cancellations -- out of 559 scheduled flights. [Update Dec. 12 -- Southwest Airlines canceled all of its 71 departures yesterday from the Kansas City airport, saying it did not want people to risk driving to the airport.]

I am being told by pilots and by industry sources that airlines, seeing bad weather, are canceling flights that in previous years would have been flown, if greatly delayed -- expressly to keep the delay figures down and specifically to head off those news accounts of miserable passengers trapped in airports or on parked planes.


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