Well, yesterday I made mention January 11, 2011 would create its own history and it did not disappoint. Throughout the eastern half of the nation, the weather was awful. According to various news reports, the airlines canceled as many as 7700 flights.
A few of the flyers who read this blog will not miss the irony of the number of the cancellations: 7700 is the transponder code a pilot would use to declare an emergency. I am sure many trying to get to their destinations are probably, by now, in a state of panic.
Today is the first day of classes and many who are in the Northeast and Midwest are having their difficulties trying to get home or back to school. Airlines continue to cancel flights and driving is, in a word, treacherous. It does make those who did not travel appreciate being home.
The entire eastern half of the United States is suffering from an incredible winter storm. According to the Associated Press, Delta Airlines canceled 1700 flights while US Airways scrubbed 1000. Atlanta’s Hartsfield lost 4000 flights over the last two days.
Many in the industry believe it will take several days to recover from the mayhem created by Old Man Winter. The reason is the backup at each of the major hubs. Even with good weather elsewhere, because of the number of passengers which need to move through a particular airport, travel delays are inevitable.
The problems are so prevalent they may strand some passengers for more than a week. While most have more than likely found lodging in hotel rooms, no doubt more than a few have spent uncomfortable nights in airport terminals.
While the weather has put many of the traveling public out, they are not the only ones suffering. The cold weather has affected the airlines in many ways.
Financially, the airline industry has lost millions of dollars due to the extreme cold. Delta Airlines estimates a loss of $45 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 while Continental Airlines officials believe the company lost $10 million over the holidays. That is a lot of money to lose, just because of cold weather.
This is more reinforcement for my love of the Sunshine State. I only wish it would hurry and warm up. It is far too cold down here right now.
I can’t wait for spring.
© 2010 J. Clark