Alaska Airlines proactively canceled approximately 20% of its departures from Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday as the Pacific Northwest continues to experience unusually wintry conditions.
Alaska said the cancellations will allow for the additional time that will be needed to de-ice aircraft.
Seattle, which was hit by a rare winter storm over the Christmas weekend, was expected to have a high in the upper 20s on Wednesday, followed by between one and three inches of snow overnight.
The Alaska Airlines cancellations are part of what has become another difficult day for U.S. air travelers. As of 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, airlines had canceled more than 850 U.S. flights, according to FlightAware. Alaska, JetBlue, Allegiant and Spirit each canceled upward of 5% of their scheduled flights.
In addition, United canceled 7% of its mainline flights. And SkyWest — the nation’s largest regional airline that operates flights for Alaska, United Express, Delta Connection and American Eagle — canceled 8% of its flights.
Airlines have attributed this week’s ongoing spate of cancellations to staff calling in sick with Covid as well as winter weather in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
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