CNN

US airlines deliver holiday improvement over the rough end to 2022, figures show

Dec 27, 2023, 5:09 PM

FILE - The list of Southwest Airlines flights cancelled grows at Phoenix Sky Harbor International A...

FILE - The list of Southwest Airlines flights cancelled grows at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Dec. 29, 2022. Thousands of air travelers faced flight cancellations and delays this weekend as thunderstorms traveled across the U.S. East Coast and Midwest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(CNN) — What a difference one year can make – as many people who traveled by air during the now-notorious last week of 2022 could tell you. But at the tail end of 2023, you’d mostly hear tales of improvement.

As the days between Christmas and New Year’s tick off, airlines are continuing their streak of few flight cancelations after last year’s disastrous holiday travel meltdown.

Figures from FlightAware show that US carriers have canceled less than 1% of all flights over the past week. Airlines scheduled more than 162,000 flights from Dec. 20 to 26 and canceled just 1,100 of them.

The FAA has warned that ground stops could go into place Wednesday for flights departing for major East coast airports in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Washington as pilots and air traffic controllers battle low cloud ceilings and reduced visibility. But as of 3 p.m. ET, those ground stops have yet to materialize. Airlines have canceled only 129 flights in the United States and delayed another 3,800, according to FlightAware.

The scene is diametrically opposed to Southwest Airlines’ schedule meltdown over the last 10 days of 2022, which caused the cancelation of 16,900 flights and left two million passengers stranded.

Holiday air travel delays

Even still, Southwest Airlines has delayed the most flights of any US carrier during the holiday rush — roughly one in four flights over the last week.

From Dec. 20 to 26, Southwest delayed 27% of its schedule, or 8,096 flights. Only 2% of Southwest flights have been canceled over the same period. Southwest delayed another 985 flights — or one in five flights scheduled — on Wednesday.

Delays over the last week peaked on Tuesday, when US airlines delayed nearly 28% of all flights which arrived an average of 52 minutes late, according to FlightAware figures.

“There’s a big difference between a delay and a cancellation,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said last week during a news conference.

Buttigieg stressed the rate of flight cancelations are what he considers “healthy,” but “that does invite us to pay more attention to the issue of delays and to press the airlines on how they’re behaving.”

American Airlines said late Tuesday that a handful of its regional flights have been canceled because of weather, boasting that it “continues to have the fewest cancellations among major carriers this holiday period.”

KSL 5 TV Live

CNN

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Gaza City on June 22...

Eyad Kourdi and Ibrahim Dahman, CNN

More than 50 people killed or missing in Israeli strikes on central Gaza, local officials say

52 people have been killed or left missing in Israeli strikes near Gaza city on Saturday, according to the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office (GMO).

20 hours ago

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the ...

Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA sign-off on menthol e-cigarettes ‘flies in the face of public health,’ anti-tobacco groups say

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the first non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products to get the agency’s sign-off. The decision drew harsh criticism from pediatricians and anti-tobacco groups.

2 days ago

Ten people have been shot, 2 fatally, following an active shooter incident at Mad Butcher Grocery i...

Zoe Sottile and Justin Lear, CNN

Three dead, 10 wounded, in Arkansas grocery store shooting, authorities say

Three people were killed and 10 wounded in a shooting at a grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas, the Arkansas State Police said in a news conference Friday.

2 days ago

Researchers were able to locate a specific gene variant correlated with some people's weight gain, ...

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Researchers have found a ‘clear genetic trigger for obesity’ that applies to some people

Obesity isn’t just a matter of food and exercise — it may be in your genetic code, according to new research.

2 days ago

TikTok ramps up attacks on Biden administration in challenging prospective ban, and seen here, a vi...

Brian Fung, CNN

TikTok ramps up attacks on Biden administration in challenging prospective ban

TikTok ramped up its attacks on the Biden administration Thursday over a law that could ban the popular app from the United States, arguing in a court filing that US TikTok users could be forced to live on an “island” of content disconnected from the rest of the world if the platform is forced to find a new owner.

2 days ago

Trucks have been delivering a nonstop stream of packages from Temu to a home in the western suburbs...

Tara Molina, WBBM

An Illinois family keeps getting packages they never ordered from Temu

Trucks have been delivering a nonstop stream of packages from Temu to a home in the Illinois suburbs lately, but the family is not ordering anything.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

US airlines deliver holiday improvement over the rough end to 2022, figures show