Travelers stranded as thousands of flights cancelled, delayed across the country

Dec 25, 2022, 1:42 PM | Updated: 9:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The weather across the country has created a certain level of chaos for air travelers nationwide this Christmas Eve. 

The polar plunge to the east of the Rocky Mountains, and other weather complications, have made it tough for some people to make it home for the holidays without delays. 

Salt Lake International Airport has seen fewer delays than yesterday, but more canceled flights. As of 9 p.m. Dec. 24, there was 91 cancellations and 121 delayed flights. Nationwide, there have been more than 3,500 flights cancelled, affecting all kinds of holiday plans.

“We’ve been on the go,” Ken Dillon said. 

He and his wife flew out of London more than 18 hours ago, and should have already been at their final destination. 

“The plan was to arrive here, spend an hour in the airport, and then get the connecting flight to Vegas,” he said. 

But that flight was canceled, and they were put on standby for a flight Christmas Eve night. Right after they checked their bags for that flight, it too was canceled. His wife is working the phone to try to get them on another airline tonight. 

As it stands, they’re waiting for a flight that doesn’t leave Salt Lake City until tomorrow night, but he takes it in stride. Although, he thinks the airlines could do a better job of promptly informing travelers about cancellations.

“It’s beyond our control,” Dillon said. “The problem we have now… is where do we go? What do we do? Because we’re not due to fly out now until tomorrow evening.”

Plenty of people had to roll with it, as they scrambled to find another suitable flight.    

“Everybody had some kind of trouble with their flight,” said Merle Litvack, relaxing in the greeting area with family members from her group.  They’re here for a family reunion; headed to Park City. 

“We planned our flights so that everybody would land within an hour or so of each other,” Litvack said. 

But last night, before she left Florida, her flight was canceled and she was rescheduled to fly Christmas Day.  So, she rebooked on another airline to get here sooner.

“So that I didn’t lose a day — because we only have so many days to be together,” she said. “Then, everybody else’s flight got delayed as well. I got here the earliest, I’ve been sitting here for seven hours.”

Fortunately, she still expected to be in Park City before the end of Christmas Eve. 

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” Litvack said. “So you can either get upset, or you can just find the silver lining in the clouds.”

The airport was quieter Dec. 24 than it was Dec. 23, but it seemed that a higher percentage of travelers were dealing with delays rippling through the entire system.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A man was flown to the hospital after he was hit by a garbage truck in Layton. (Layton Fire Departm...
Logan Stefanich

Man hit by garbage truck in Layton, flown to hospital

A man was taken to the hospital Thursday after being hit by a garbage truck near Hill Air Force Base, police said.
14 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott

Giving away gas cards with Casey Scott

Utahns experienced a polar plunge as temperatures dropped below freezing or even zero across the state Wednesday.
14 hours ago
(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Man dies after shooting in SLC; police still searching for suspect

A man who was shot in Salt Lake City's Glendale neighborhood has died, and police are continuing their search for a suspect.
14 hours ago
Shelby Lofton

Tooele County animal sanctuary needs donations to keep its animals warm

At an animal sanctuary in Erda, some animals can't come inside, so they're getting creative to keep them warm.
14 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Utah mom shares grocery budgeting tips

Saving Cent by Cent shared how she is cutting costs on her grocery bill as inflation continues to impact supermarket staples.
14 hours ago
Ashley Moser

New Salt Lake salon moves away from gender-specific cuts to be more inclusive

When stylist Joshua Lucero looked into opening his own shop, inclusivity was top of mind, which is why he's doing away with "men's" and "women's" haircuts.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Travelers stranded as thousands of flights cancelled, delayed across the country