American, Southwest Airlines cancel hundreds of flights at DFW Airport, Love Field as snow, ice hit
American and Southwest Airlines canceled more than 500 flights Sunday at DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field and are anticipating that most flights Monday will be scrapped as severe weather continues to sweep through North Texas.
The region’s primary commercial passenger airports are major hubs for the locally based airlines, creating a cascade of travel issues that forced the carriers to reroute passengers across the country to avoid Texas.
Operations may not return to some level of normalcy until Tuesday — and ice and snow may wallop Dallas-Fort Worth again later in the week.
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines canceled all but a few flights Sunday out of Love Field, the fifth-largest airport in its network. Southwest also canceled all of its flights out of the airport until at least noon Monday.
More than 2,600 flights across the United states had been canceled through Monday, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service.
On Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground delay at DFW, with up to three-hour halts on flights that weren’t canceled. Crews worked to clear runways and de-ice planes that were scheduled for takeoffs.
Both airlines were trying to reroute customers scheduled to go through North Texas to new destinations to lessen the impact.
Love Field spokesman Chris Perry said it could be Tuesday before airlines resume “bigger operations.”
“With the early cancellations, we’re hopeful passengers will confirm their flight with their airline to avoid being stranded,” he said. “For those that are stuck, we’ll have cots, blankets and pillows available in the terminal.”
Southwest canceled all but 10 flights Sunday in and out of Dallas, carrier spokeswoman Brandy King said. All that remained were eight departures and two arrivals. Southwest’s other major airports, such as Houston Hobby, Oklahoma City and Austin, also were running on skeleton schedules.
The airline usually operates about 200 flights a day out of Love Field.
The airport also lowered temperatures in the terminals and surrounding buildings at the request of natural-gas supplier Atmos Energy to help preserve the supply of heating fuel in the region.
The massive number of cancellations wasn’t for a lack of trying. Love Field had teams out in “rolling 12-hour periods” to pretreat runways with ice-melting supplies.
Southwest pre-emptively canceled most Sunday flights in and out of Love Field to minimize the prospect of passengers on connecting flights getting stuck in Dallas.
American Airlines was still scheduled to operate about half its Sunday flights but called off 645 on Sunday and another 404 on Monday, company spokesman Andrew Trull said.
American canceled operations out of many smaller airports in Texas and Oklahoma on Sunday, including Amarillo, Abilene, College Station and Longview.
Most larger airports in the region were running limited operations, including San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
This article originally appeared on The Dallas Morning News