Over 170 flights canceled or delayed at SLC Int’l Airport

Dec 22, 2022, 12:23 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of flights coming to or leaving Salt Lake City International Airport were delayed Thursday as a winter storm moves across the Midwest.

As of 12:55 p.m., 175 flights in or out of SLC had been delayed and 37 were canceled.

Delta led all airlines with 58 delayed flights and 17 cancelations. Southwest was in second with 22 delayed flights and 14 cancelations.

Judie Bishop-Scardasis hit some complicated travel delays but made it to Salt Lake City Thursday to see her loved ones.

“We knew this might be kind of a hairy flight, but my biggest fear, I think, was being stuck in Chicago because I wouldn’t have gotten out until Sunday,” Bishop-Scardasis said.

Across the United States, more than 7,000 flights were delayed or canceled Thursday morning. Most of the delays were due to severe winter weather conditions in Chicago, Denver and Dallas-Forth Worth.

Bishop-Scardasis left Orlando and was originally booked to Chicago but switched to Denver and then flew into Dallas instead and spent the night.

“Denver was all iced up to the point where the de-freezing stuff the put on the planes was working, so none of the planes could get out.”

Over 500 flights have been canceled at Denver International Airport, while another 500 have been delayed. FlightAware says the average delay time in Denver is over one hour. Five Denver-bound SLC flights have already been canceled today.

Instead Bishop-Scardasis was on a full plane to Dallas where only two staff members were on hand to help all the passengers upon arrival. Finding her luggage was also a challenge, but she wanted to get to Salt Lake to see her family.

“When I came out of my gate, I heard him; he just started screaming and it was very special to see them. To get to them it’s very worth it. It’s a Christmas miracle and I’m with the two most important people in my world.”

Over 530 were canceled at Chicago O’Hare International Airport along with over 200 at Chicago Midway International Airport.

According to the Associated Press, the National Weather Service reported that temperatures across the central High Plains plummeted 50 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few hours. In much of the country, the Christmas weekend could be the coldest in decades.

The storm was so large and encompassing that around 190 million people were under some type of winter weather advisory, the weather service said Wednesday.

Temperatures fall far and fast as winter storm threatens US

SLC prepares for holiday travel rush

Up to 30,000 passengers are expected to come through the airport’s front doors each day on Thursday, Friday and Monday, with more making connecting flights post-security.

Adam Ryan, who is based out of Salt Lake City, works as Delta Air Lines’ managing director and airport operations. He said this time of year is a busy season.

“You know, it’s what we kind of call our Super Bowl of the travel season as we get into the holidays,” he said.

Salt Lake City Int’l Airport prepares for busy holiday travel days

Ryan said traveling really picked up on Dec. 16, with the fast pace expected to run through Jan. 3.

With so many people trying to catch flights, he said there’s a method to all of it.

“We have a team of 23 meteorologists that are monitoring weather real-time as well as looking three to five days out so we can make operational adjustments as necessary,” Ryan said.

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Over 170 flights canceled or delayed at SLC Int’l Airport