Dallas’ two major airports and their hometown airlines are pre-emptively canceling or delaying thousands of flights through noon Tuesday as a winter storm brought freezing temperatures and drizzle across North Texas.
By around 2:45 p.m. Monday, Southwest Airlines had called off or delayed over 1,000 flights nationwide, according to flight tracking site Flightaware.com. It also proactively halted or delayed another 300 flights scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Nationally, over 4,200 flights were canceled or delayed.
About half of Southwest’s canceled flights on Monday and Tuesday were into or out of its home base airport, Dallas Love Field. The airline is still coping with the fallout of the holiday meltdown that left millions of travelers stranded at airports around the nation.
Southwest spokesman Chris Perry said travelers should confirm their flight status on Southwest.com or the company’s app before heading to the airport.
“As we commonly do, our teams made proactive schedule reductions in advance of [the storm’s] potential effects on our operation,” Perry said in an email. “To provide flexible rebooking options, a travel advisory is active for customers traveling to/from/through a number of airports where we operate in Texas and Oklahoma.”
At DFW International Airport, more than 320 inbound or outbound flights were canceled Monday with nearly 370 others delayed. Fort Worth-based American Airlines already cut its flight schedule by almost 300 routes for Tuesday.
American Airlines, which canceled or delayed more than 585 flights on Monday, issued a travel alert for passengers traveling to, from or through DFW International Airport.
American spokeswoman Gianna Urgo said the storm disproportionately disrupted its D-FW operations.
“The vast majority of affected flights were canceled in advance so we could proactively notify and accommodate our customers and avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport,” Urgo said in an email.
American is waiving change fees for passengers booked in any fare class for tickets bought for flights scheduled between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2. Other conditions apply as well, such as flying from the same originating and destination airports and rebooking in the same cabin or agreeing to pay the difference.
Travelers making changes must rebook by Feb. 2 and travel must be completed within a year of the original ticket date, and some differences in fares may apply.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Dallas County and other parts of North Texas starting Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning.
Storms brought sleet and freezing rain all over the region Monday morning and afternoon causing hazardous road conditions, according to the weather service.