More than 1,400 flights within, into or out of the United States were already canceled by 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. And delays of flights still able to takeoff numbered almost 1,700. Christmas Day is traditionally a light day for passenger flights.
As the sun was rising on the East Coast, it was an airport in the South — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), the busiest in the world for passengers — leading the pack on cancellations and delays. The rest of the top five were in traditionally colder climes:
• John F. Kennedy International In New York (JFK)
• Newark Liberty International Airport in nearby New Jersey (EWR)
• Boston Logan International (BOS)
• Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (ETW)
A rough week for flying
A pair of travelers sleep while others line up to pass through a security checkpoint in Denver International Airport on Friday.
The massive storm’s arrival was ill-timed for travelers who had started pushing Christmas week flying numbers back toward pre-pandemic levels.
On Christmas Eve, there were a total of 3,487 flights canceled, according to FlightAware. Friday was the worst day with 5,934 cancellations, while Thursday saw almost 2,700 cancellations.
This megablast of winter weather across the eastern two-thirds of the nation is forecast to slowly moderate into Monday. As of 8:20 a.m. ET, there were just 83 cancellations for Monday.
Bus and train service
CNN’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.