WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The deadly winter storm that has hit the U.S. over the last few days continues to impact holiday travelers across the country, including Florida.
There were 21 flights canceled and 115 delays at Palm Beach International Airport on Monday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.
More than 5,772 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had already been delayed by 4:15 p.m. Monday, according to FlightAware, while 3,625 flights were canceled.
"We checked before we left, and it was on time, and now it's canceled," Jennifer Freeny, who was hoping to board a Southwest flight from West Palm Beach to Baltimore, said.
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Southwest Airlines experienced more than 2,700 canceled flights and more than 730 delays just on Monday.
"This is just the latest example of a snowball effect that we've seen play out in the airline industry," Kyle Potter of ThriftyTraveler.com said.
More than 190 flights headed to Denver were canceled while 140 were already delayed Monday afternoon, according to FlightAware.
We continue to experience high call and social inquiry volumes. Please check your flight status and explore self-service options here: https://t.co/WIFDwb9epE pic.twitter.com/PCMDOYGHON— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) December 26, 2022
On Sunday, Christmas saw 3,182 flights canceled and 7,841 flight delays.
Potter said airlines like Southwest are now struggling with staffing shortages since the pandemic.
"Airlines are in a tough position," Potter said. "This storm put them in a very hard position, and they're clearly having some trouble trying to get caught up."
Amid all the confusion, some travelers did find flights home.
"Almost every flight in the gate was canceled, except for ours," Taylor White, who arrived at PBI from Atlanta, said.
Buffalo was among the cities hit the hardest by the winter storm, which dumped as much as 40 inches of snow in parts of western New York. The city's airport was expected to remain closed until Tuesday morning.
Travelers are urged to check with their airline before heading to the airport.