Palm Springs International Airport experienced its second consecutive day of double-digit flight cancellations on Monday, but it emerged that the canceled flights may have been more related to winter conditions in the Pacific Northwest than to COVID-related staff shortages that have disrupted flights across the country.
Six flights scheduled to depart PSP on Monday and five scheduled to arrive there had been canceled by 11 a.m., according to flight data company FlightAware. That’s about 5% of the airport schedule.
On Sunday, 13 flights to or from PSP were canceled. On Sunday and Monday, Canadian airline WestJet was the leader in canceled PSP flights with eight, followed by Alaska Airlines with seven. Allegiant Air, Skywest and Delta had also canceled flights on Sunday or Monday.
In addition to cancellations, PSP has experienced some delays. On Sunday, 19% of departing flights and 25% of arriving flights were delayed, while delays were also reported for 9% of flights departing on Monday and 11% of arriving flights.
Eight of the PSP flights canceled Sunday and Monday were arriving or were to Seattle, while three of the Sunday cancellations were also for flights to or from Vancouver, Canada. Flights to and from Bellingham, Wash., And Eugene, Oregon, were also among those canceled.
On Sunday, a Sunday storm dumped four to six inches in the Seattle area, the Seattle Times reported. The Portland, Oregon area received about half an inch of snow, according to OregonLive.
Alaska Airlines posted a notice on its website Sunday morning warning that winter weather would cause flight delays in the Pacific Northwest.
“The safety of our operations is our top priority,” said the advisory. “With the extra time to de-ice our planes before departure, it takes longer for planes leaving the airport than on a hot sunny day. Pre-cancellation of flights alleviates congestion and allows all airlines to equal the reduced number of aircraft allowed to land and depart. “
The notice also said Alaska Airlines will allow customers to change flights until Jan. 2 and waive the cost difference, provided travelers maintain the same departure and destination airports and complete their trip by. at the end of January.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport led global airports in terms of flight delays and cancellations on Sunday with 366 cancellations and 469 delays, with more than half of all inbound and outbound flights being canceled or delayed.
He was due to rule the world again on Monday, but with only around 300 delays and cancellations, as the snow had stopped on Monday morning. The Seattle forecast also called for another possibility of snow Monday night, although the build-up should be limited to about half an inch.
“Abnormally high” number of cancellations
Palm Springs airport spokesman Daniel Meier told the Desert Sun the number of cancellations appeared to be above normal.
“It seems unusually high because most of the time we don’t have any cancellations,” he said in an email.
Only individual airlines could provide specific information on the reasons for the delays, he said.
While cancellations in Palm Springs were focused on Pacific Northwest flights, the delays appeared to be more widely distributed among the various departing and destination airports across the country.
Flight cancellations and delays were a problem nationwide during the busy Christmas travel weekend, with more than 1,500 flights delayed in the United States on Sunday and more than 6,000 delayed. Several airlines said the scheduling issues were caused by staff issues related to COVID-19, according to USA Today.
However, weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest also appear to have a disproportionate impact on the national situation, as Alaska Airlines and Skywest, both of which have a strong presence in this region, recorded the highest number of cancellations among US airlines on Sunday and had to start over. Monday.
PSP has broken passenger records in six consecutive months and before Christmas the airport warned it expected its parking lots to fill up in the coming days and urged travelers not to travel to the airport by car.
Just after 1 p.m. on December 23, the airport tweeted that its main parking lot was closed to long-term parking, with people looking for long-term parking being directed to the vacation / economy land the airport had. open earlier in the week. The airport had added 330 temporary parking spaces before Christmas and New Year’s Day.
According to FlightAware, no delays or cancellations were announced late Monday morning for flights arriving or departing Palm Springs on Tuesday or Wednesday. Nationwide, 1,073 flights were canceled for Monday and 83 cancellations were announced for Tuesday.
Paul Albani-Burgio covers breaking news and the city of Palm Springs. Follow him on Twitter at @albaniburgiop and by email at [email protected]