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Major US airlines delayed or canceled more than 10,000 flights this weekend, citing thunderstorms in Florida and technology issues

  • Thousands of airline passengers across the US experienced flight disruptions this weekend.
  • Major US carriers canceled or delayed more than 10,000 flights total on Saturday and Sunday, according to FlightAware.
  • The disruptions owe largely to bad weather, but technology issues were also a factor.

Insider Today

Thousands of airline passengers across the US ran into trouble at the airport this weekend when major carriers experienced massive disruptions to their flight schedules.

On Saturday, 6,049 flights traveling within, into, or out of the US were delayed, and 1,934 were canceled, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. An additional 3,013 US flights were delayed and 1,517 canceled as of Sunday afternoon. The disruptions come amid the busy spring break travel period, and as air travel rebounds in response to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

All told, more than 10,000 flights have been delayed or canceled this weekend. Many disruptions were due to inclement weather, including thunderstorms, in Florida, while others stemmed from technology issues. 

The affected carriers Saturday included major US airlines like American, Southwest, United, and Delta.  

Southwest Airlines bore the brunt of the disruptions. On Saturday, 44% of its flights were delayed and 14% canceled.

"We have all hands on deck to get delayed customers and their bags onto available flights and we're sharing additional guidance and wide flexibility to self-serve travel changes," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Southwest issued an apology to customers on Saturday, saying the disruptions stemmed from "briefly pausing our service earlier this morning as we worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue, as well as ongoing weather challenges in Florida impacting multiple areas within our system."

The company told Insider it issued 400 proactive cancelations on Sunday, which were put in place the day prior because aircrafts and crews were out of their planned positions owing to Saturday's disruptions.

American Airlines saw 21% of its flight schedule delayed on Saturday and 12% canceled. An American Airlines spokesperson told Insider in a statement on Sunday that the company is "recovering from those disruptions." 

"Yesterday's weather in and around Florida and resulting ATC [air traffic control] initiatives impacted our operations with most northbound and southbound routes through and to Florida affected," the spokesperson said. 

At United Airlines, 26% of Saturday's flights were delayed and 2% canceled.

"Our operation yesterday was impacted by weather, especially in Florida. We are working to get customers to their destinations as safely and quickly as possible," a United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement.

Delta Airlines delayed 22% of its flights Saturday and canceled 8% of them. The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Low-cost carriers like JetBlue, Frontier, and Spirit also experienced disruptions over the weekend.

air travel yesterday

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FAA Daily Air Traffic Report

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Today's Air Traffic Report:

Low clouds and wind could impact Boston (BOS), New York (EWR, JFK, LGA), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA) . Snow possible in Minneapolis (MSP) .

air travel yesterday

Watch our morning travel weather outlook from the FAA Command Center where we track all flights in the sky.

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit , and follow  @FAANews  on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

Pilots: Check out the new  Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool  from the Aviation Weather Center.

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impacts to normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays,   ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay   information.

LIVE UPDATES: Gunfire erupts at Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl celebration

FAA outage: Damaged database file took down safety system, grounding flights

What you need to know about the faa computer outage.

  • Normal air traffic operations were resuming across the U.S. on Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said, after an overnight computer outage grounded thousands of flights .
  • The FAA said its Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAM, which contains information essential to workers involved in flight operation, had "failed."
  • A corrupted and damaged database file in the system was blamed for the stoppage, the FAA said.
  • More than 1,300 flights were canceled Wednesday and 10,000 were delayed Wednesday.

Over 1,300 cancellations, 10,000 delays in U.S. Wednesday

air travel yesterday

Phil Helsel

There were 1,343 flights canceled within, into or leaving the U.S. on Wednesday, the day a computer outage halted all departures in the country.

The number of delayed flights in the U.S. on Wednesday was 10,060, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware .

New York’s LaGuardia Airport had 50% of its departing plans delayed, according to the website. Denver International had 60% of its departing flights delayed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a damaged database file was found as it investigated the cause of the outage to its Notice to Air Missions system. “There is no evidence of a cyber attack,” the agency said.

Aviation warning system that crashed was already a pain for pilots

Kevin Collier

The U.S. aviation warning system that crashed for more than an hour Wednesday traces its origins to ocean-faring ships and has been under continuous reforms for years, experts say.

At least one aviation industry group has called for it to be replaced altogether.

The Federal Aviation Administration  grounded all flights  blaming an unspecified failure in the Notice to Air Missions system. NOTAM issues a near-constant stream of acronyms and abbreviations to alert pilots to a host of potential dangers, from parachuters and bad weather to legal airspace restrictions and flocks of birds.

By Wednesday evening, the agency had pinpointed the problem as a damaged database file, and there is no evidence of a cyberattack, it said.

Regardless of the cause, the NOTAM system has long been a source of frustration for pilots and others in the aviation industry, who say it overloads them with information that’s irrelevant to their flights and makes it difficult to identify actually useful information.

Read the full story here .

More than 1,300 flights still delayed across U.S.

Tim Stelloh

More than 1,300 flights were delayed and nearly 100 were canceled Wednesday afternoon after a corrupted file knocked out a government system that provides pilots with critical information, halting flights across the country overnight.

Flights resumed Wednesday morning . According to the tracking site FlightAware , Denver International Airport led the country with delays, at 111.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina was second, with 95.

The average departure and arrival delays were under an hour at both airports, according to the site.

Nearly 10,000 flights had been delayed across the country Wednesday, according to the site. More than 1,300 had been canceled.

Corrupted file affected critical FAA system, official says

Jay Blackman

A corrupted file affected both the primary and backup systems of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice to Air Missions system, a senior government official said. 

The failure of the critical system prompted a ground halt at airports across the country early Wednesday before passengers slowly began boarding flights again.

It isn’t clear how the file was corrupted. An investigation continues.

Buttigieg: 'No direct indication of any kind of external or nefarious activity,' but not ruling it out

Julianne McShane

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that "there is no direct indication of any kind of external or nefarious activity, but we are not yet prepared to rule that out."

He added that officials are working "to see exactly what was going on inside the files that were in the system, leading to this irregularity."

"This is an incredibly complex system," Buttigieg said later in the interview. "So glitches or complications happen all the time, but we can’t allow them to ever lead to this level of disruption, and we won’t ever allow them to lead to a safety problem."

The Transportation Department forced airlines to pay out millions of dollars in refunds last year for canceled and delayed flights , but Buttigieg stopped short of agreeing that it should refund travelers after the FAA outage when Mitchell posed the question.

"We’re not for-profit companies selling tickets that the way an airline is," he said. "Our responsibility is to make sure that everybody is safe, and we’re always going to err on the side of safety. ... When there’s an issue on the government side of the house, when there’s an issue in FAA, we’re going to own it, we’re going to understand it, and we’re going to make very clear what’s needed in order to fix it and go after that plan."

Largest pilots union 'encourages patience' as delays mount

air travel yesterday

The largest pilots union in North America encouraged travelers Wednesday to be patient after the nationwide ground halt on flights as data from the tracking site showed ongoing delays.

“We are in regular contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and will continue to work with them and airline managements to ensure our aviation system continues to be as safe as possible," the Air Line Pilots Association International said in a statement.

The group represents 67,000 pilots at 40 U.S. and Canadian airlines.

FlightAware showed delays of as many as 48% of flights for Southwest Airlines, 44% for American Airlines and 38% for United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the American Airlines pilots union said he respected the decision to issue the nationwide stop, as it was most likely necessary to ensure safe travel.

Still, "this shouldn't be happening," said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. "This is a learning moment — but we have to get those moments down to a minimum."

This traveler is rushing home to perform plastic surgery

Deon J. Hampton

Performing plastic surgery was on the line if Dr. Robert Feczko didn’t make it home to North Carolina. 

His ski trip to Colorado ended as his Delta fight from Denver International Airport to Atlanta was delayed two hours. Complicating matters, Feczko, 37, would most likely miss his connecting flight to Raleigh, North Carolina, and push back the final stretch of his trip — a 90-minute drive home to Greenville, North Carolina.

Feczko said that he wanted to feel fresh to perform surgery Thursday morning but that before he left Colorado, he wasn’t sure whether he’d even make it home.

Robert Feczko

“I’m more concerned about my flight routing through Atlanta,” Feczko said, waiting in line to check his ski equipment. “I’m worried about tomorrow. I have a surgery at 7:30 a.m.”

Canada's air navigation service provider experiencing NOTAM outage

Canada's air navigation service provider, Nav Canada, was experiencing the same computer system outage the FAA did, it tweeted shortly after 12:30 p.m. ET.

"NAV CANADA's Canadian NOTAM entry system is currently experiencing an outage affecting newly issued NOTAMs, and we are working to restore function," the statement read. "We are not currently experiencing any delays related to this outage. We are assessing impacts to our operations and will provide updates as soon as they are available."

Vanessa Adams, a spokesperson for NAV Canada, said in a statement that the outage began at about 10:20 a.m. ET and that power was restored at about 1:15 p.m.

"We are still investigating the root cause of the failure," Adam said. "At this time, we do not believe the cause is related to the FAA outage experienced earlier today."

As of about 3 p.m. ET, both Toronto Pearson International Airport and Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport had average departure delays of 28 minutes (and increasing), while Ottawa International Airport had average arrival delays of 32 minutes.

Earlier Wednesday, Air Canada tweeted that all customers traveling to and from the U.S. should check the status of their flights on its website after the FAA outage.

More than a quarter of Air Canada flights — 123 — were delayed as of 3 p.m. ET, FlightAware showed, while 13 were canceled.

A delayed flight leaves one traveler in tears — and out of $500

At Denver International Airport, the computer outage delayed Mine Mizrak’s Southwest flight to Los Angeles and forced her to miss her connecting Turkish Airlines flight to her native Istanbul, where she planned to reunite with family.

Mizrak, a mechanical engineer, moved to Denver last year, leaving behind her mother and other relatives, whom she hasn't seen since.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for the past month,” she said, sitting down in a chair counting the time until her next flight departs. Once she does, her trip will become pricier.

Mine Mizrak

While Mizrak, 25, paid $1,000 in airfare, she said, she’ll have to pay an additional $500 once she lands in California to ensure she gets home because of her missed flight at LAX.

“I’ve been crying, because I could’ve spent that money on something else in Istanbul,” Mizrak said. She said Turkish Airlines won’t reimburse her for the money because the outages didn’t affect international flights.

A Turkish Airlines spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry.

Buttigieg says no 'nefarious' cause found so far

American airlines, delta resume operations with ongoing delays.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines resumed operations late Wednesday morning after the FAA outage, although with significant delays.

At 10:45 a.m. ET, more than 950 American Airlines mainline and regional flights had departed, according to information provided by the airline. 

As of 12:30 p.m. ET, just under 1,200 American Airlines flights were delayed, amounting to 40% of its flights, and more than 180 had been canceled, amounting to 6% of its flights, FlightAware reported.

In a statement, American Airlines said it was continuing to “closely monitor” the FAA outage and was “working to minimize further disruption to our customers and operation.” Customers whose flights were affected by the outage could rebook their travel for Wednesday and Thursday “without any additional fees,” the airline said, directing travelers to its website or its app for the latest flight information.

Delta was slightly less affected than American, with just over 1,000 flights, or 35%, delayed and 58, or 2%, canceled as of 12:30 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware.

Nearly half of Southwest flights delayed just weeks after mass cancellations

Nearly half of Southwest Airlines flights were delayed as of about 11:15 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware, making the already beleaguered carrier one of the most affected by the morning's outage.

More than 1,700 Southwest flights were delayed, amounting to 45% of its overall flights.

The latest delays come just weeks after the airline canceled thousands of flights in the travel-heavy days after Christmas, which it blamed on "operational challenges” following days of  severe winter weather .

In a statement provided to NBC News, Southwest Airlines spokesperson Dan Landson said the airline anticipates "some schedule adjustments will be made throughout the day."

"As always, we encourage Southwest Customers to check their flight status at  or via our mobile app," Landson continued. "We’ve also posted a  Travel Advisory  on our website to highlight the flexible rebooking options being offered to Customers."

Chart: See the spread of flight delays Wednesday

air travel yesterday

Nigel Chiwaya

JoElla Carman

Jasmine Cui

Ground stops lifted at Chicago airports, though delays continue

Ground stops have been lifted at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports, the Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement shortly after 10 a.m.

"Residual delays or cancellations will likely continue throughout the day as a result of this morning’s outage," it said, adding that travelers should continue to check their flight status before heading to the airports.

As of about 10:45 a.m. ET, O'Hare was reporting average arrival delays of an hour and 16 minutes (and decreasing), and average departure delays of an hour and 39 minutes (and increasing), according to FlightAware . More than 200 of its flights — 23% — were delayed, and 39 flights were canceled.

Midway was experiencing average arrival delays of 48 minutes (and decreasing) and departure delays of an hour and 51 minutes (and decreasing), according to the tracking website . More than 40% of its flights — 116 — were delayed, and 22 were canceled.

FAA outage was a 'catastrophic system failure,' U.S. Travel Association CEO says

Wednesday's FAA computer outage was a "catastrophic system failure" and "a clear sign that America’s transportation network desperately needs significant upgrades," according to the head of the U.S. Travel Association.

"Americans deserve an end-to-end travel experience that is seamless and secure. And our nation’s economy depends on a best-in-class air travel system," said Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the nonprofit and advocacy group representing more than 1,100 member organizations in the travel industry.

"We call on federal policymakers to modernize our vital air travel infrastructure to ensure our systems are able to meet demand safely and efficiently,” he added in a statement.

Senior law enforcement official: No evidence of cyberattack

air travel yesterday

Ken Dilanian

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that the FBI has seen no evidence that a cyberattack caused the computer outage that grounded thousands of flights.

Cyber security experts say the most common cause of problems like the one Wednesday is a bad software update.

What is NOTAM, the system that had an outage causing a nationwide flight fiasco

Most people will never have heard of "NOTAM," but it is the reason thousands of travelers were stuck in airports or stewing over delayed or canceled flights Wednesday.

The acronym stands for "Notice to Air Missions," and refers to the computer system that distributes "information essential to personnel concerned with flight operations but not known far enough in advance to be publicized by other means," according to a webpage on the Federal Aviation Administration website. (The page was no longer accessible shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET.)

The notices flag abnormalities such as "runways being closed for maintenance, ground stations being out, construction cranes that may be in the proximity of a runway," NBC aviation analyst Capt. John Cox said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe."

The notices are written in a specific format with "a unique language characterized by the use of specialized contractions" standardized by the International Civil Aviation Organization, according to the FAA . To the untrained eye, the notices look like a random series of letters and numbers.

“It’s a pretty extensive list that the crews get just before departure,” Cox said. “For this NOTAM system to be out — I don’t ever remember it failing before, and I’ve been flying 53 years, so it really is unusual.”

Buttigieg says DOT will seek to learn 'root causes' of meltdown

air travel yesterday

David K. Li

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg vowed that his agency will get to the "root causes" of the massive system meltdown that grounded flights across America.

Wednesday's FAA debacle is the latest airline headache that's impacted mass numbers of U.S. travelers. Buttigieg on Tuesday said his department would be holding Southwest Airlines accountable for its holiday season cancellations.

More than 540 Delta flights delayed, 14 canceled

More than 540 Delta flights were delayed as of 9:13 a.m. ET Wednesday, amounting to 19% of the overall, while 14 had been canceled, according to FlightAware.

The airline said in a tweet it was "safely focused on managing our operation during this morning’s FAA ground stop for all carriers."

Fiancé called just as he was about to board flight to reunite them

Henry Austin

After six weeks apart, Wyatt Cosich was about to board the plane taking him home to see his fiancé, Samantha Martinez, when she called and told him about thousands of flights being grounded.

Cosich, 22, told NBC News by telephone Wednesday that he was lining up to get on the plane at San Antonio International Airport, set to take off at 6:15 a.m. local time (7:15 a.m. ET), when Martinez, 23, said they would have to be separated for a little while longer.

“I was really looking forward to seeing her,” Cosich said of Martinez, adding that he had traveled to Texas from their home in Newton, North Carolina, for a job opportunity. He added the pair were getting married Sept. 9.

“There about five gates and around 200 to 300 people here,” he said, adding that airport staff had been providing regular updates to passengers, although most of the time they had been saying, “no more news.”

Unlike some passengers who he said had been getting frustrated with the delays, Cosich said he was calm and while it was unclear when and how he would get home, he praised the airport staff for their professionalism: “They’ve been great.”

FAA says ground stop has been lifted

air travel yesterday

Jason Abbruzzese

American Airlines: 'We're closely monitoring the situation'

American Airlines — which had just over 100 of its flights canceled and nearly 300 delayed as of 8:20 a.m. ET, according to the flight tracker FlightAware — said in a tweet just before 8 a.m. ET that it is "closely monitoring the situation and working with the FAA to minimize customer disruptions."

FAA says some departures resuming from Atlanta and Newark

Photo: the departures board at ronald reagan airport in washington.

A computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration brought flights to a standstill across the U.S. on Wednesday, with hundreds of delays quickly cascading through the system at airports nationwide.

Expert: Domestic flights won't be back to normal until Thursday or Friday

NBC aviation analyst Capt. John Cox said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that domestic flights won't return to their normal schedules until Thursday or Friday given the "domino effect" of the delays and cancellations caused by the nationwide computer outage.

"There's a domino effect to this — airplanes move around the world, and consequently, as an example, an airplane that's trapped in New York, in four hours, is expected to be in Los Angeles, in five hours. And so the people in Los Angeles that are depending on that airplane, their flight will be either delayed or canceled, and the airplane would then say, 'Go to Hawaii, and then come back,'" he said. "So you've got all of these airplanes moving around throughout the day."

"I think it'll certainly be tomorrow at the earliest, and potentially the day after, before the system's back to 100%," Cox added.

2,512 flights to or out of the U.S. delayed, flight-tracking site says

The tracking website FlightAware reported that 2,512 flights had been delayed leaving or entering the United States by 7:56 a.m. Wednesday.

Total cancellations stood at 254.

White House: No evidence of cyberattack right now but DOT doing 'full investigation'

All american airlines flights from paris delayed, airport operator says.

All American Airlines flights from Paris have been delayed until further notice, Groupe ADP, an international airport operator based in the French capital, told NBC News on Wednesday.

Air France, meanwhile, said its flights from the U.S. were going ahead as planned and were not affected by the FAA notice, and it understood that the problems with the system would be fixed soon.

United delays domestic flights until 9 a.m. ET

United Airlines said in a statement Wednesday it had temporarily delayed all domestic flights until at least 9 a.m. ET.

"The FAA system that sends out important real-time flight hazards and restrictions to all commercial airline pilots — Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) — is currently suffering a nationwide outage. United has temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA."

In a tweet, Southwest Airlines urged customers to check the status of their flights in the Southwest app or on its website.

FAA pauses all domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET

Flight radar shows aircraft over the united states at 7 a.m. et.

Flights over the United States at 7 a.m. ET as the Federal Aviation Administration grounds all air traffic after a computer outage Wednesday.

Sec. Buttigieg tweets he's been in touch with FAA

Hundreds of flights already affected.

air travel yesterday

Chantal Da Silva

About 760 flights within, into and out of the U.S. were delayed as of around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to online flight tracker  FlightAware . Around 90 flights were listed as canceled.

“Operations across the National Airspace System are affected,” the FAA said in a statement.

“The FAA is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions System. We are performing final validation checks and repopulating the system now,” it said.

Click here to read the full article.

FAA still working to restore computer system

U.S. Flights Grounded The F.A.A. Said It Traced the Problem to a Damaged Database File

The agency said that there was no evidence it was caused by a cyberattack.

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Niraj Chokshi and Mark Walker

F.A.A. outage highlights fragility of the aviation system.

Tens of thousands of flights were delayed or canceled around Christmas when frigid weather and storms made travel treacherous. But the weather was mostly fine on Wednesday morning when flights across the country were halted because the Federal Aviation Administration’s system to alert pilots to safety issues went down.

The F.A.A. said on Wednesday night that it had traced the outage to a damaged database file and that there was no evidence that it was caused by a cyberattack. The disruption was the latest example of serious problems in the aviation system and at the F.A.A., the agency responsible for safely managing all commercial air traffic that critics say has long been overworked and underfunded.

The pause on flights across the country highlighted what aviation experts say are glaring weaknesses at the agency, long considered the world’s premier aviation regulator. The F.A.A. has struggled to quickly update systems and processes, many of which were put in place decades ago, to keep up with technological advancements and a sharp increase in the number of flights and passengers.

Problems with the system used to notify pilots of hazards in the air and ground began on Tuesday night, forcing officials to reboot the system early Wednesday morning. To fix the problem, the F.A.A. ordered airlines to delay all departing flights just before 7:30 a.m. That pause was lifted at about 9 a.m., but the disruption was far from over as airlines struggled to get back to normal throughout the day. Delays cascaded throughout the system and, by the afternoon, about 9,000 flights had been delayed and 1,300 had been canceled.

Just two weeks earlier, hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded by an operational meltdown at Southwest Airlines , the country’s largest carrier by number of passengers. Taken together, the two episodes underscore the fragility of the nation’s aviation system.

The F.A.A., in particular, has long faced criticism for failing to modernize its technological systems quickly enough and not hiring enough air traffic controllers and safety specialists. Lawmakers strongly criticized the agency’s oversight of Boeing, for example, after two of the company’s 737 Max planes crashed, killing 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019.

A big part of the problem, aviation experts said, is that Congress has not given the F.A.A. enough money to do its many jobs properly, and the agency has sometimes been slow to make change even when it had enough resources. The agency’s budget was about $18.5 billion in 2022 — less than it was in 2004 after adjusting for inflation.

“This is an agency that has been chronically and critically underfunded, not for years, but for decades,” said William J. McGee, a senior fellow for aviation at the American Economic Liberties Project, a research and advocacy group that has criticized consolidation in the airline business.

The outage will surely figure prominently in hearings and debates in Congress because the F.A.A.’s most recent authorization, passed in 2018, expires this year. That gives lawmakers an opportunity to overhaul the agency, require changes and reset its funding. Many senators and representatives have expressed anger and concern about flight delays and cancellations since air travel began to recover in 2021 after collapsing in the first year of the pandemic.

“We will be looking into what caused this outage and how redundancy plays a role in preventing future outages,” Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington and the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday. “The public needs a resilient air transportation system.”

The F.A.A. is also without a permanent leader, and it is not clear when that will change. Last week, President Biden renominated his choice to lead the agency, Phillip A. Washington, the chief executive of Denver International Airport. Mr. Washington was nominated last year but did not receive a Senate confirmation hearing.

He has faced criticism over his limited aviation experience and his involvement in a public corruption investigation in Los Angeles, where he previously ran the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Washington has said he did nothing wrong.

The agency has lacked a permanent leader since the end of March, when Stephen Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines executive who was appointed by President Donald J. Trump , stepped down about halfway through a five-year term . Since then, Billy Nolen, the F.A.A.’s top safety official, has led the agency on an interim basis.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Cantwell said her committee had not yet scheduled a hearing to consider Mr. Washington’s nomination.

Pete Buttigieg, who oversees the F.A.A. as the secretary of transportation, said on Wednesday that the government was investigating what caused the outage and why the agency’s systems were not more resilient.

“When there’s a problem with a government system, we’re going to own it, we’re going to find it, and we’re going to fix it,” Mr. Buttigieg told reporters. “In this case, we had to make sure that there was complete confidence about the safety of flight operations, which is why there was the conservative but important step to have that pause and make sure everything was back up and running.”

Experts say that the F.A.A.’s technology has grown outdated and that the agency has long lacked the resources for ambitious overhauls that would strengthen those systems.

“I’ve been flying airplanes for 55 years, it’s been known for a long time that the F.A.A. is often underfunded,” Chesley B. Sullenberger III, the pilot who safely landed a US Airways plane on the Hudson River in 2009, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday as the flight he was traveling on was delayed.

Two decades ago Congress did launch a major overhaul of the national aviation system, known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen. The multibillion-dollar project, which is intended to allow airlines to operate more flights and modernize some of the aging technology used by the F.A.A., has been mired in problems and taken longer than expected.

In a 2021 report , the inspector general of the Transportation Department found that the benefits of the NextGen overhaul have fallen far short of early projections, but said that it still held promise. The project is supposed to help the agency handle increased air traffic and develop technology to prevent problems like Wednesday’s disruption.

“The expectations for these capabilities vastly exceeded the actual deliverables,” said Robert Mann, an airline industry expert and president of the aviation consultancy R.W. Mann and Company.

In recent years, the F.A.A. has fallen short in other areas, including not having enough air traffic controllers in some parts of the country at times. The airline industry and a union that represents controllers have said that staffing shortages have led to flight delays and cancellations.

Airline executives and union leaders say the air traffic control center in Jacksonville, Fla., in particular has been overwhelmed by flights. That issue has been compounded by bad weather, commercial space launches and other problems, Rich Santa, the president of the union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said in a speech last summer .

“If you fly on the East Coast, if you come close to Florida, you are affected by this facility,” he said.

The agency launched a broad air traffic controller recruiting campaign last year, but the effort is unlikely to quickly resolve any staffing problems because hiring and training controllers can take months — and getting new hires to the right places can take even longer.

The agency also faced widespread criticism for failing to adequately ensure the safety of Boeing’s 737 Max jet after the two crashes. The F.A.A. had outsourced oversight to Boeing itself through a program where some regulatory work was delegated to company employees. That practice was allowed under federal law partly because the agency didn’t have the resources to do the work on its own.

Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, said the outage on Wednesday was particularly frustrating because it happened so soon after Southwest Airlines’ meltdown during the holidays.

Ms. Mace said Southwest and federal agencies should face the same tough scrutiny and that she intended to ask the F.A.A. questions about its shortcomings and how it planned to address them.

“The F.A.A. is putting safety first, which is important,” Ms. Mace said. “But also, at the same time, Americans should know they can take a flight on any random week of the year and know that they’ll get to their destination safely and securely.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

air travel yesterday

Canada’s air navigation service provider, NAV CANADA, was also struck with a brief outage to its systems just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Vanessa Adams, a spokeswoman for NAV CANADA, said in an email.

Service was restored about three hours later and there were no delays to scheduled flights because backup measures allowed operations to continue, Adams said. The company is still investigating what caused the system lapse, but she did not believe it was linked to the F.A.A. outage.

Zach Montague

Zach Montague

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, told reporters that there had been “issues” with the safety alert system on Tuesday, and that the Federal Aviation Administration had worked through the night to try to resolve the problems. “The F.A.A. is working aggressively to get to the bottom of the root causes for the system outage so that it does not happen again,” she said.


Emily Cochrane

Emily Cochrane

Representative Sam Graves, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he had many questions about the problems, adding, “I expect the F.A.A. to provide a full briefing to members of Congress as soon as they learn more.” He also said he expected the Transportation Department to “do right by passengers it has wronged.”

He added that he wanted “to make sure that we know what went wrong, who’s responsible, and how this is going to be prevented in the future.”

Mark Walker

In an interview on CNN, Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said that at some point overnight, there were “irregularities” in safety alerts to pilots, leading the Federal Aviation Administration to put a halt to flights. “Now we have to understand how this could have happened in the first place — why the usual redundancies that would stop it from being that disruptive did not stop it from being disruptive this time, and what the original source of the errors or the corrupted files would have been,” he said.

Erin Schaff

Erin Schaff

Grand Canyon University's pep band was stuck in Phoenix with the school's cheer and dance teams. The group needed to get to Orlando for a national competition. “It’s just a bit tiring and frustrating," said Isaac Willis, who was trying to sleep on the hard floor. “We came to the airport at 4 a.m.”

Wesley Parnell

It helped that Wednesday's outage was during one of the slower flight days of the week. At Newark, where flights were starting to take off, passengers were easily moving through security and the airport wasn't busy.

Jaime Vallejo was flying from Newark to Ecuador with his wife and three kids when he found out that his flight was delayed because of the F.A.A. outage. “That’s the computer system for the whole country, and that’s something that should make you a little nervous,” he said.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Several major airlines, including Delta, American, and United, have announced that they will waive associated fees for customers to change their flights due to Wednesday's delays and cancellations.

More than 7,000 flights have been delayed within, into or out of the United States on Wednesday even as departures are returning, according to the latest figures from FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

Daniel Victor and Maria Cramer

Once again, thousands of airline passengers are left confused and frustrated.

Frequent fliers know that feeling well, particularly as air travel has roared back from pandemic lows: Their flight has been delayed, and then they receive little information about when — or if — it will take off, stoking feelings of anger and hopelessness.

But the Federal Aviation Administration system failure that caused more than 9,000 delays on Wednesday led to a slightly different dynamic for the frustrated passengers: This time, they didn’t have the airline to blame.

“Because it was a systemwide, nationwide thing, there was nowhere to direct your outrage, so everybody was being really helpful,” said Jess McIntosh, a political consultant whose American Airlines flight was delayed in Albany, N.Y. “And nobody was yelling at the T.S.A. agents.”

The outage that halted takeoffs for about 90 minutes on Wednesday morning was caused by the failure of a system that the F.A.A. uses to send timely safety alerts to pilots. Flights began to resume at around 9 a.m., the F.A.A. said, but the effects continued to snarl air traffic throughout the day.

Paul Hudson, the president of , which represents airline consumers, called the shutdown “shocking” and potentially avoidable.

“The fact that this could happen at all shows the real vulnerabilities to the computer system that the F.A.A. operates,” he said. The F.A.A. said it was still investigating the cause of the disruption to the NOTAM — short for Notice to Air Mission — alert system. There was no evidence of a cyberattack , said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary.

Mr. Hudson said that while the cause of the disruption is still unknown, it is clear that the F.A.A. needs to update its computer system and conduct more “stress tests,” such as drills conducted at airports and by airlines to prepare for emergencies.

In terminals across the country, just weeks after mass cancellations by Southwest Airlines left thousands of travelers stranded, many passengers were sanguine about yet another chaotic day for air travel.

Bettina Inclán, who was traveling to Houston from Washington, said her United pilot kept everyone on her delayed flight informed and calm.

“The entire United team did really well in setting expectations, being honest on what they knew and didn’t know, and what it all meant,” she said.

As Sara Hole , of Stamford, Conn., and her fiancé, Drew Tomlinson, waited by their gate at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday morning, they got the impression that the American Airlines staff members were just as confused as the passengers.

Over the intercom, an airline representative told them there was an F.A.A. “system outage,” but there were few other details.

“They have emphasized that they have all of the same information that we do,” Ms. Hole said.

Some of the passengers may have been accommodating, but their plans were no less ruined. Ms. McIntosh, who left for the airport at 4:30 a.m. to catch a flight to Raleigh, N.C., for a business meeting, eventually went back home when she realized she was going to miss most of it. Ms. Inclán had to rearrange several meetings, and Ms. Hole said she and her fiancé would probably miss their connecting flight in Phoenix, disrupting their planned hiking trip in Utah for Mr. Tomlinson’s birthday.

Several major airlines, including Delta, American and United, announced that they would waive any fees typically associated with changing flights because of Wednesday’s delays and cancellations.

The fact that the disruption came from the F.A.A. and not an airline dealing with overbooked flights may explain why many passengers were not as outraged as they might have been, said Mike Arnot, an industry analyst.

“Safety first, and that’s the right call,” he said. “By and large, this will be hopefully forgotten by most of the traveling public soon.”

Not everyone was so understanding.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and the ranking member in the Senate aviation committee, called for accountability from the F.A.A. on what went wrong.

“The flying public deserves safety in the sky,” he said in a statement. “The F.A.A.’s inability to keep an important safety system up and running is completely unacceptable.”

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents 50,000 workers, said the disruption was a “frustrating” reminder of the need to update the computer systems that airline crews rely on to operate.

“We’ll find out more about the root cause of the issue in the coming days,” Ms. Nelson said, “but what’s clear is the need for robust and stable funding this year to bring our aviation system into the 21st century.”

Paola Canales, who was flying Spirit Airlines to Honduras with a layover in Florida, said the malfunction made her worry about the integrity of the system.

“Think about it,” she said. “Hacks happen all the time now.”

Sayron Stokes, a passenger headed from La Guardia to Oakland, Calif., on Southwest, said she was “very mad” about the meltdown as she looked for a quiet corner of the airport for a nap on Wednesday. “We need to do something better,” she said.

At Newark Liberty International Airport, Jaime Vallejo, 52, who owns a cleaning company, was worried about catching his connecting flight from Miami to Ecuador. He was traveling with his wife and three children and had just learned that his 12 p.m. flight had been delayed by two hours.

Mr. Vallejo said he was also frustrated that the F.A.A. did not send him any direct notification, which would have saved him the stress of rushing to the airport.

“I didn’t receive so much as an email,” he said.

Unlike Southwest’s holiday season meltdown , when passengers aimed their anger squarely at the airline and some of its workers, the disappointment on Wednesday couldn’t be pinned on a specific company or even severe weather. No matter the airline or the region of the country, everyone was in the dark.

It led to confusing scenes in the early morning as the picture came into focus. Venus Marcil said she and her uncle were on their plane at Orlando International Airport, seatbelts fastened and their plane cleared for takeoff for their 7:25 a.m. Delta flight to New York, when the pilot said they would not be departing.

The passengers deplaned, and she was told she would receive an update in about two hours.

But that wasn’t Delta’s fault, she said.

“I think they’ve been transparent and timely with the communication,” Ms. Marcil said of the airline.

Reporting was contributed by Niraj Chokshi , Jenny Gross , Jordyn Holman , Wesley Parnell and Nancy Wartik .

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation.

Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, said the F.A.A.’s troubles were particularly frustrating after the flight chaos during the holiday season. “The F.A.A. is putting safety first, which is important,” she said in an interview. “But also, at the same time, Americans should know they can take a flight on any random week of the year and know that they’ll get to their destination safely and securely.”

Cruz, who is set to be the top Republican on the Senate committee that oversees transportation, added, “This incident also highlights why the public needs a competent, proven leader with substantive aviation experience leading the F.A.A.”

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, criticized the F.A.A. following the outage, saying the agency's “inability to keep an important safety system up and running is completely unacceptable and just the latest example of dysfunction within the Department of Transportation.”

Nancy Wartik

Nancy Wartik

Sayron Stokes, 27, said she arrived at La Guardia Airport at 4 a.m. Eastern for her 9:45 a.m. Southwest Airlines flight to Oakland, Calif., connecting through Nashville. She said she was informed at 8:04 a.m. that her flight was delayed for an hour, and eventually, she was told her flight was canceled. “I’m very mad,” she said. “I am losing a day, and I’ve had no sleep.”

Jenny Gross

Jenny Gross

Several European airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa and Iberia, said the F.A.A. system failure had not caused delays or cancellations to their flights to and from the United States. Iberia said that its flights to the U.S. from Madrid had taken off before the outage. Mid-flight updates could be shared with pilots through an alternative communication system, the airline said in a statement.

The F.A.A. is currently without a permanent leader.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s troubles on Wednesday occurred at a time when the agency is without permanent leadership.

Last week, President Biden renominated his choice to lead the agency, Phillip A. Washington, who is currently the chief executive of Denver International Airport. Mr. Washington has faced an uncertain path to confirmation and did not receive a confirmation hearing in the Senate last year.

The F.A.A. has lacked a permanent leader since the end of March, when Stephen Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines executive who was appointed by President Donald J. Trump , stepped down about halfway through his five-year term . Since then, Billy Nolen, the F.A.A.’s top safety official, has led the agency on an interim basis.

Mr. Biden nominated Mr. Washington last year to be F.A.A. administrator. Mr. Washington has faced scrutiny over his limited aviation experience and his connection to a public corruption investigation in Los Angeles, where he previously ran the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Washington has said the allegations against him are untrue and had been made by a disgruntled employee.

At La Guardia Airport, Denise Meagher, 52, from Manhattan, and her partner, David Ippolito, 66, had been on their way to a wedding in Florida. They said they had been notified of a delay to their flight before leaving their apartment, but came to the airport anyway. “We’re not in a rush. We don’t have a connection to make,” Meagher said. She said that she was glad that the F.A.A. had delayed flights, and that she saw it as a protective measure.

Daniel Victor

Daniel Victor

Nearly 4,600 flights have been delayed within, into or out of the United States on Wednesday, according to the latest figures from FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

Niraj Chokshi

What is NOTAM? Here’s what caused the F.A.A. outage.

The disruption on Wednesday was caused by an outage to a system that the Federal Aviation Administration uses to send real-time safety alerts to pilots.

Those NOTAM alerts — short for Notice to Air Missions — are crucial to planning flights and are used to share information about hazards in the air or on the ground, such as closed runways, airspace restrictions and navigational signal disruptions.

NOTAMs, which until recently stood for the anachronistically gendered Notice to Airmen, typically include technical language that can be difficult to parse for anyone without experience reading them. They were created in 1947 and modeled after similar messages used to alert ship captains to hazards at sea.

Jordyn Holman

Jordyn Holman

At 9:03 a.m. at Orlando International Airport, gate agents started announcing that boarding was open for flights that had been delayed over the past couple of hours. Sleepy passengers started packing up their bags and quickly shuffling to their gates.

In Orlando, a gate agent described the scene as a “mass exodus” as passengers headed to their gates to board their delayed flights.

At La Guardia Airport, Neil Wynter, 47, from Brooklyn, was traveling with his wife and three boys to Orlando, Fla., to go to Disney World. They, too, discovered before leaving home that their Delta flight had been delayed by an hour and a half. Wynter said he was a little anxious about the flight. “It’s a system problem, so you’ve got to be concerned. You don’t know if they’re telling you all the truth or half the truth.“ The delay, itself he said, was not a big deal.

“The groundstop has been lifted,” the F.A.A. said in its latest update, adding that it continued to “look into the cause” of the problem. “Normal air traffic operations are resuming gradually across the United States following an overnight outage to the Notice to Air Missions system that provides safety information to flight crews,” the agency said.

Anika Robertson, a spokesperson for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said projections showed that “more than 13,000 local passengers and more than 43,000 total passengers” had been affected at the airport.

Melissa Hoppert

Melissa Hoppert

With the F.A.A. system outage causing delays, some pilots had extra time to fuel up on coffee at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

It’s been a difficult few weeks for air travel in the U.S.

Wednesday’s system failure comes after a particularly busy holiday period, one that was marred by thousands of flight cancellations caused at first by bad weather in the days before Christmas.

Most airlines recovered quickly from the storms, but Southwest Airlines became overwhelmed and soon canceled thousands more flights to recover. That airline alone canceled about 16,700 flights in the last 10 days of December, about half of all U.S. flight cancellations during that period, according to data from FlightAware, a flight tracking service.

The cancellations were devastating in many cases, affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers at one of the busiest times of the year for air travel. Many scrambled to find alternative travel or canceled trips altogether. But Southwest mostly recovered by New Year’s Eve, and flight cancellation rates nationwide have been low in recent days after most holiday travelers returned home.

Wednesday’s outage comes at a particularly slow, midweek period. About 1.7 million people were screened at federal airport security checkpoints on Tuesday, one of the slowest days for travel in almost a year, according to Transportation Security Administration data . It has been more than a month since the last time so few people were screened in a single day.

In its latest update, the F.A.A. said it was “making progress” in restoring operations. Departures are resuming at Newark Liberty and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports, the agency said on Twitter. “We expect departures to resume at other airports at 9 a.m. ET,” it added.

Some passengers at Newark are waiting for answers that their airline doesn’t have.

As Sara Hole, 23, of Stamford, Conn., and her fiancé, Drew Tomlinson, waited by their gate in Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday morning, they got the impression that the staff members were just as confused as the passengers about the delays to their flight.

Over the intercom, an American Airlines representative blamed “a system outage” with the F.A.A., Ms. Hole said, but there were few other details.

On social media, passengers awaiting flights from a variety of airlines in cities across the United States told a similar story: The airlines were blaming the F.A.A. technical problem for delays, and there weren’t many answers available.

Ms. Hole said that their 6:20 a.m. flight to Phoenix on American Airlines had been delayed several times in 15- and 30-minute increments. They arrived at the airport before 5 a.m. after driving about an hour. They were concerned that their flight could be delayed long enough that they would miss their connection to St. George, Utah, where they had planned a hiking trip for Mr. Tomlinson’s birthday.

They were “trying to stay positive,” she said. As they waited, they saw a “small handful” of other planes taking off through the window.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said on Twitter that President Biden has been briefed about the F.A.A. system outage by Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary. Jean-Pierre said there was no evidence of a cyberattack at this time. Biden has directed the Transportation Department to investigate the outage, she said.

“They don’t know what the cause is,” Biden told reporters after speaking to Buttigieg about the F.A.A. outage. “Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don’t know what the cause of it is, they expect in a couple of hours they’ll have a good sense of what caused it and will respond at that time.”

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Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said on Twitter that the F.A.A. was “working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations.”

I have been in touch with FAA this morning about an outage affecting a key system for providing safety information to pilots. FAA is working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates. — Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) January 11, 2023

The F.A.A. said it has ordered all airlines to pause domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

Daniel Victor ,  Jenny Gross and Lauren McCarthy

The F.A.A. is investigating the reason for the overnight collapse.

Flights were taking off again Wednesday after an early morning Federal Aviation Administration system failure left pilots, airlines and airports without crucial safety information. The F.A.A. still had not provided a detailed cause of the overnight system collapse, which officials attributed to irregularities. An order to stop all departures across the United States was lifted shortly before 9 a.m. Eastern, allowing normal air traffic operations to gradually resume.

Here’s what to know:

More than 9,000 flights within, into or out of the United States had been delayed on Wednesday, according to FlightAware , a flight tracking service. The delays were spread across the country and affected multiple carriers.

Passengers across the country said their plans had been scuttled, with airport employees sometimes knowing little more than passengers .

President Biden said that he had spoken with Pete Buttigieg , the transportation secretary, and that he had asked him to report back when a cause for the failure had been identified. There was no evidence of a cyberattack, the administration said.

The F.A.A. said the disruption was caused by an outage to a system that sends real-time safety alerts to pilots, called Notice to Air Mission alerts , which are crucial to planning flights and used to share information about hazards in the air or on the ground. “We are going to see the ripple effects from that, this morning’s delays, working through the system during the day,” Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said on CNN. “Now we have to understand how this could have happened in the first place.”

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  • holiday travel

Air travel meltdown likely to continue for weeks, analysts say

KGO logo

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- Travel anywhere around the country these days, and there's a good chance your flight might be canceled.

"Another couple thousand cancellations. Hundreds of delays again today. And it's just been pretty much continuous," said Clint Henderson, who works for The Points Guy.

For nearly two weeks, the airline industry has been going into a meltdown. Resulting in thousands of flight cancellations and delays.

RELATED: What to do if your flight is canceled as omicron-related crew shortages leave thousands stranded

"They have not seen anything like this before, where it's just continuous and it's across the board, every airline," Henderson said.

Analysts say the cause of the problem is twofold. With the first being severe winter weather in various parts of the country, and the other being the rapid spread of the Omicron variant- which has led to hundreds of sick daily sick calls from everyone from flight crews to air traffic controllers.

"What they're trying to do is cancel the flights that have either the fewest people on them to reduce inconvenience or on routes that have the largest number of flights scheduled," said travel industry analyst, Henry Harteveldt.

RELATED: US should consider COVID vaccine mandate for domestic air travel, Fauci says

The issues were on the minds of several travelers at San Francisco International Airport Sunday night.

"We're still a bit worried, a bit on edge, but we're hoping that things are going to be alright," said traveler, Milo Golding.

But experts say the delays aren't likely to let up anytime soon, and they warn passengers to plan accordingly.

"We need to expect that these problems will exist at least through the next couple of weeks, possibly through January," Harteveldt said.

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Southwest passengers brawl on Hawaii-bound flight as crew, others try to break them up: ‘No sense whatsoever’

Trouble nearly in paradise!

Two passengers came to blows about an hour after take-off on a Hawaii-bound flight and forced other travelers and crew members to break up the mid-air fight, a distressing video shows.

The chaos broke out on Southwest Airlines Flight 1288 from Oakland to Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai on Monday, airline officials told Hawaii News Now.

“I heard yelling, screaming and punches. I turned around and saw one man bleeding and then the other man being separated,” passenger Jim Wieder told the outlet.

In the video of the mid-air exchange, one man, dressed in a gray hoodie and baseball hat, is seen inching closer toward the other man, donning a gray pullover, before the confrontation turns ugly.

The man in the baseball hat is slapped in the arm by the man in the pullover as he approaches him from the aisle, while Southwest Airlines crew members and fellow passengers are already physically separating them.

The man in the baseball cap then unleashes a series of punches, landing about seven in the other passenger’s face before fellow male travelers pull him away.

Though restrained, he continued to shout as the men held him back, attempting desperately to calm him down.

A post shared by Hawaii News Now (@hawaiinewsnow)

“Frankly, I was a little nervous because we’re 35,000 feet and you’ve got two guys swinging at each other, which makes no sense whatsoever,” Wieder said.

The fight happened between two male passengers about an hour into the flight, another witness shared.

It is unclear what ignited the fight between the two passengers.

The plane, however, did not turn around and continued to fly to Kauai, one witness told the outlet.

“We commend our Crew and Customers for their professionalism in diffusing this situation,” a Southwest official said in a statement to Hawaii News Now .

“The flight landed safely at its scheduled destination, and local authorities met the flight upon arrival.”

Both men were detained after the flight landed.

It’s unknown if any charges have been pressed against either man.

“Our department has zero tolerance for violent or unruly behavior aboard an aircraft. If you act out on an airplane, you can face criminal prosecution and fines up to $37,000,″ the US Department of Transportation posted on X.

The scuffle between the men shocked some Hawaii-based flight attendants who spoke with Hawaii News Now.

“I’ve been flying 45 years and no it was not like this,” a flight attendant told the outlet. “Probably the worst thing that happened a couple years ago was a passenger taking a couple peanuts.”

A non-stop flight from Oakland International Airport to Lihue Airport is about five and a half hours.

The in-air melee is just the newest startling altercations to happen in the skies.

Only two weeks ago,  a JetBlue passenger had to be restrained by four fellow travelers  after becoming abusive toward the cabin crew.

The flight had taken off from London Gatwick Airport and was heading to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport when the aggressive man was caught on video struggling against four other men who were trying to hold him still in the darkened cabin aisle.

The passenger was allegedly drunk when he began to become unruly mid-air.

Similarly,  an American Airlines flight last month had to be diverted  after a passenger allegedly punched a flight attendant who asked him to stop kicking a fellow flyer’s seat.

A fellow passenger on that flight said the man was spitting at people, adding that she saw him banging his head against the window, and he worried the crew enough that the pilot declared a level two threat at about 1:50 p.m. and diverted to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

Keith Edward Fagiana, of Las Vegas, was met by law enforcement and charged with interference with a flight crew upon arrival.

Southwest Airlines Fight -

Watch CBS News

Thousands of U.S. flights delayed, canceled amid massive winter storm

By Emily Mae Czachor

Updated on: February 22, 2023 / 9:46 PM EST / CBS News

More than 7,600 flights were delayed and canceled at airports across the U.S. on Wednesday as a coast-to-coast winter storm affecting most of the northern half of the country continued to track east from Washington toward New England. 

Following several days of reported disruptions to air travel, which prompted major airlines like Delta and Southwest to issue weather waivers in anticipation of further scheduling issues, at least 5,983 U.S. flights were delayed and another 1,695 were canceled as of Wednesday evening, according to the online tracking database FlightAware . Those numbers account for flights originally scheduled to move within, into or out of the U.S.

Along with SkyWest, Delta and Southwest are among the airlines most affected by this week's winter storm. Each individual airline had already canceled between 253 and 345 flights by mid-morning on Wednesday, the database showed, while Southwest and Delta reported 373 and 468 delayed trips, respectively. SkyWest reported another 317 delays.

Other U.S.-based airlines, including United, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, were reporting fewer cancellations — between 40 and 45 each, roughly — but logging mounting delays. According to FlightAware, 288 American Airlines flights were delayed on Wednesday afternoon, as were 354 flights operated by United. 

Winter Storm Minnesota

Wednesday's delays and cancellations were mainly concentrated at a handful of western and midwestern airports, consistent with the path of this week's winter storm. At Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, the tracking database indicated that 189 flights were canceled before 10 a.m. local time, accounting for 44% of all of the airport's scheduled departures. That number had risen to 198 by the early afternoon. Another 123 flights were canceled at Denver International Airport, accounting for 13% of all departures, and an additional 117 scheduled departures were canceled at Detroit Metro Airport, accounting for 28% of all flights, according to FlightAware. 

On Twitter, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged the state's residents to prepare for inclement weather.

With potentially dangerous winter weather on the way, it’s important to prepare and be ready ahead of time to keep yourself, your family, and your neighbors safe. The State of Michigan is watching conditions as they develop and taking action to prepare for winter weather impacts. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) February 22, 2023

The numbers were similar for delays and cancellations affecting flights meant to arrive at those three airports on Wednesday, per the tracking site, which showed 218 canceled flights into Minneapolis, or 50% of all arrivals, another 123 canceled flights into Denver, 104 more into Detroit, 60 into Chicago and 59 into Milwaukee.

The latest flight disruptions came as the week's massive storm prompted officials to enact weather alerts for 29 U.S. states — up from 22 alerts reported on Tuesday — which affects around 75 million people. As expected, the upper-level weather pattern intensified as it moved from its origin spot in the Pacific Northwest over western mountain states and toward the Midwest and Great Lakes regions between Tuesday and Wednesday. 

In a bulletin issued ahead of the storm, the National Weather Service warned that the weather system would "bring numerous weather hazards and significant anomalous temperatures" stretching from Washington to Maine through Thursday. Particularly severe conditions were forecast for some midwestern states, like Minnesota, where Minneapolis remained on track Wednesday to see its second-biggest snowfall of all time. Already under about six inches of snow, officials declared snow emergencies in anticipation of double-digit snowfall around the Twin Cities, as well as strong wind gusts affecting significant portions of the Midwest.

Minneapolis Public Schools announced on Tuesday that it would close all of its buildings and transition to e-learning for all students through the end of the week,  CBS Minnesota reported . All Minneapolis Public Schools sponsored programs will also be shut down for remainder of the week as a result of the storm.

Elsewhere, Salt Lake City has so far recorded more than a foot of snow, while Denver is expected to see between 2 and 4 inches on Wednesday, as forecasters anticipate wind chills well below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the Colorado city due to falling temperatures into the night. As the storm continues to track toward the Great Lakes, forecasters say Chicago and parts of Michigan could see between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch of ice and freezing rain.

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Emily Mae Czachor is a reporter and news editor at She covers breaking news, often focusing on crime and extreme weather. Emily Mae has previously written for outlets including the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and Newsweek.

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BREAKING Yesterday was the busiest day ever for air travel in the US

air travel yesterday

Yesterday, TSA screened just over 2.9M individuals at airports nationwide, the busiest day ever for air travel.

On Nov. 26, TSA screened just over 2.9M individuals at airports nationwide, which represents an agency record – the busiest day ever for air travel.

Preliminary numbers from TSA show Sunday was a record day at airport checkpoints.

Per TSA: Early reporting of throughput for Sunday (11/26) is 2,894,304, which is a record. On 6/30 TSA screened 2,884,783. Final numbers in the next day or so.

air travel yesterday

American Air says its flown nearly 6.5 million over Thanksgiving. The busiest travel day with 6,100+ departures.

AA says its canceled fewer flights than any other Thanksgiving period in its history.

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Small Plane Crash Lands on Florida Interstate, Killing 2: ‘We’ve Lost Both Engines’

Plane Lands Florida Interstate

M oments before a  private jet slammed  into a Florida highway, the pilot calmly told an airport controller that the aircraft “was not going to make the runway” since it had lost both engines.

The jet, with five people aboard, was bound for the airport in Naples when it tried to make an emergency landing on Interstate 75 on Friday afternoon. But witnesses say it collided with a vehicle — the wing of the plane dragging a car before slamming into a wall. An explosion followed, with flames and black smoke rising from the scene.

Two people were killed, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, but it wasn't immediately know whether the victims had been passengers on the plane or were on the ground.

Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the crash near Naples, just north of where the interstate heads east toward Fort Lauderdale along what is known as Alligator Alley. One National Transportation Safety Board investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, with several more expected to arrive on Saturday.

The plane had taken off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1 p.m. It was scheduled to land in Naples around the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesperson Robin King said, when pilot contacted the tower requesting an emergency landing.

“Got that. Emergency. Clear to land. Runway. Two. Three,” the air traffic controller responded to the pilot, in audio obtained by The Associated Press.

“We’re clear to land but we’re not gonna make the runway. We’ve lost both engines," the pilot calmly replied.

The tower lost contact, and then airport workers saw the smoke from the interstate just a few miles away, King said.

King said they sent fire trucks with special foam to the scene, and three of the five people on board were taken from the wreckage alive.

Brianna Walker saw the wing of the plane drag the car in front of hers and slam into the wall.

“It’s seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” she said. “The wing pulverized this one car.”

Walker and her friend spotted the plane moments before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to pull over before the crash.

“The plane was over our heads by inches,” she said. “It took a hard right and skid across the highway.”

According to the FlightAware aircraft tracker, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The aircraft had been scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.

Hop-a-Jet said Friday night that it had “received confirmed reports of an accident involving one of our leased aircraft near Naples” and would send a team to the crash site, the  Naples Daily News reported .

“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of our passengers, crew members, and their families,” the statement said. It didn’t contain details of the crash.

A spokesperson for Ohio State University said the aircraft is not affiliated with the university, and they had no further information about it.

Federal authorities said a preliminary report about the cause of the crash can be expected in 30 days.

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1,600+ flights canceled, thousands more delayed amid stormy weather in the Northeast

air travel yesterday

More than 1,600 U.S. flights have been canceled and nearly 5,800 more have been delayed as of 5:00 p.m. ET Monday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware .

Strong weather moving through the Northeast, especially around New York, seems to be behind most of the issues.

The Federal Aviation Administration warned that flying in the New York metro area could be a little more chaotic this summer with fewer air traffic controllers available to handle flights than needed. As a result, airlines were preemptively asked to reduce their schedules in an effort to reduce the strain on the system.

Even still, when summer storms hit, flights are often delayed. That leaves planes out of place and the controller shortage could contribute to longer recovery times.

Several airlines have issued waivers for passengers in affected cities to rebook their itineraries.

Airlines offering waivers

Check their websites for more details. 

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines is not currently offering weather waivers.
  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • JetBlue is not currently offering weather waivers.
  • Spirit Airlines is not currently offering weather waivers.
  • Frontier Airlines is not currently offering weather waivers.

Advice for summer travel

If you’re traveling this summer and want to avoid similar headaches, it’s a good idea to consider some of the following guidelines when booking your tickets:

  • Travel early. Delays and cancellations tend to build up throughout the day, so morning flights are usually less likely to be affected.
  • Avoid connections if you can. The fewer flights you have to take, the less likely you are to run into problems.
  • Consider buying travel insurance. If something goes wrong, trip insurance can help you recoup the costs if you need to rebook or spend the night somewhere unexpected.

Cruising Altitude: Airlines make bank from bag fees even if you hate them

What you’re entitled to if your flight is canceled or delayed

If your flight is canceled for any reason, you’re entitled to a full refund if you choose not to travel on an alternative itinerary you’re offered, even if you originally booked a nonrefundable ticket.

Delays, however, can get a little more complicated. Weather-related delays are often not covered by airline compensation policies, because they’re typically considered outside the carrier’s control. That’s why the flexibility offered by waivers is especially important when bad weather rolls through. But the Department of Transportation has a dashboard that outlines the situations in which delayed passengers can be compensated by most airlines, and what they may be entitled to. 

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]

WCVB NewsCenter 5

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Latest massachusetts snowfall totals for feb. 13 nor'easter.

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The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.

Below are the latest snowfall totals across Massachusetts as of noon issued by the National Weather Service for the nor'easter on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Across the Northeast

  • Farmington, Conn. - 15.5"
  • West Hartford - 15.2"
  • Sussex, N.J. - 15"
  • Tobyhanna, Pa. - 14.5"
  • Warwick, N.Y. - 13.4"
  • Newtown, Conn. - 13.2"
  • East Windsor, Conn. - 12.5"
  • Waterbury, Conn. - 12.5"
  • Bristol, Conn. - 12"
  • Litchfield, Conn. - 11"
  • Peekskill, N.Y. - 10.8"
  • Stony Point, N.Y. - 10.5"
  • Foster, R.I. - 10"
  • Franklin Lakes, N.J. - 9.1"
  • Bridgeport - 7.6"
  • Greenwich, Conn. - 7"
  • Norwalk, Conn. - 6"

A person crosses a street during a winter snow storm in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

Barnstable County

  • Sandwich - 8"
  • Marstons Mills - 7"
  • Brewster - 6.5"
  • East Falmouth - 6.2"
  • Eastham- 6"
  • Hyannis- 6"
  • Barnstable - 5.8"
  • Forestdale - 5.8"
  • Falmouth - 5.5"
  • Dennis - 5.5"
  • Chatham- 4.5"
  • Mashpee - 4.5"
  • E Harwich - 4"
  • Bourne - 3.5"
  • East Dennis - 2.8"
  • Brewster - 2"
  • Pocasset - 1.5"

Bristol County

  • Swansea - 7"
  • Fall River - 7"
  • Dighton- 6.1"
  • Somerset - 6"
  • Rehoboth - 5.8"
  • Taunton- 5"
  • Westport - 4.5"
  • New Bedford - 4.2"
  • North Attleborough - 3.1"
  • NWS Boston/Norton - 2.9"
  • Norton - 2.3"
  • Freetown - 1"
  • Acushnet - 1"

Dukes County

  • Chilmark - 9"
  • Vineyard Haven - 6.5"

Video below: Mass. North Shore town braces for worst, gets minor blow from nor'easter

Essex County

  • Methuen- 0.8"

Hampden County

  • East Longmeadow - 5.2"
  • Wilbraham - 5"
  • Holland- 4"
  • Ludlow - 3.8"
  • Southwick - 2.5"
  • Chicopee - 2.4"
  • Westfield - 2.3"
  • Agawam - 2"
  • Chicopee - 1.6"
  • Hampden - 1"
  • West Springfield - 0.8"

Middlesex County

  • Hopkinton - 3.3"
  • Pepperell - 1.3"
  • Hudson - 1.3"
  • Holliston - 1"
  • Lexington - 1"

Nantucket County

  • Nantucket - 2"

Norfolk County

  • Holliston - 2.5"
  • Randolph - 1.8"
  • Weymouth - 1.5"
  • Millis - 1"
  • Wrentham - 1"
  • Westwood - 0.9"
  • Norwood - 0.8"
  • Needham - 0.8"

Plymouth County

  • Middleborough - 5.4"
  • Rochester - 3.5"
  • Whitman- 3.1"
  • Bridgewater - 3.1"
  • Rockland - 3"
  • Duxbury - 1.9"
  • Abington - 1.5"
  • Kingston - 0.9"

Video below: This Mass. town was ready for high water rescues; They made none

Worcester County

  • Dudley - 9.3"
  • Charlton - 8.2"
  • Fiskdale - 7"
  • Leicester - 7"
  • Webster - 7"
  • Oxford - 7"
  • Auburn - 6"
  • Douglas- 6"
  • Westborough - 5.9"
  • Shrewsbury - 5.6"
  • Worcester Airport - 4.6"
  • Milford- 4"
  • Boylston - 3.5"
  • Sturbridge - 3.3"
  • Warren - 3"

Taylor Swift lands in Los Angeles ahead of Super Bowl, reports say

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by William Mallard

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BudgetAir rubbed me $561 - Air Travel Forum

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air travel yesterday

Hi! I'm posting my situation hoping I could get any advice or help.

I was so excited about my first Europe travel.

And I received a confirmation email(BudgetAir) at that time.

Yesterday, I went to my booking page of BudgetAir website to check if I can check in earlier.

But I saw my trip has been cancelled.

I didn't ask cancellation before. And I couldn't receive any information on this cancellation so I didn't even know this happened.

Also I couldn't find any refund in my card transaction history.

I called them.

But they insisted they already provided a cancellation email and a refund which I can find nowhere.

I tried to reach another person with Chat customer service. And now they say your card hasn't been charged. So I explained my transaction. And they changed their word saying we already gave you the refund.

Then where is my money?

So after that, I sent them proofs such as my email box and my card transaction history asking a refund receipt. (if that really happened)

So basically they rubbed me,

And I'm not sure I could ever get my money back.

9 replies to this topic

' class=

I expect the confirmation you received was one to say they had received your booking request.

If you can see the funds have actually been taken from your account (often it is a pending charge that it is never taken if they cannot supply) speak to your card company as you have paid for something you did not receive.

When tempted by a third party in the future best to do some research first...I would guess you would not have chosen them if you had.

air travel yesterday

Please update us when you get a chance. Thanks.

air travel yesterday

I suspect that Dahee will find that the pending charge never became an actual one but a quick word with the credit card company will sort that query out easily enough.

Learn from this experience - buy either through a reputable bricks and mortar travel agent or better still, research the flight options and then book the one that you want direct with the airline . The cheap airfare fairy is a malevolent creature - OTAs like BudgetAir ( they are not the only company to avoid by any means) are happy to take your money but hopeless at handling issues with the booking if anything goes wrong

If this was two months ago, any temporary hold should have come off by now. If you have a charge from two months ago for $561 that was never refunded or lifted, and BudgetAir isn't working with you to resolve it, I would contact your bank to dispute the charge.

Side note, I think the English word you meant to use was "robbed" vs. "rubbed", which can sound similar across different accents.

We have LOTS of threads here warning not to use this company. The other Cheapies are just as bad.

Do research before you pick a company to give your money to. Feel free to ask questions.

Did you buy a return flight for $561 on a Chinese airline - if so for what route and which Chinese airline as none fly direct. So many missing links to the tale. Did BudgetAir say who cancelled your reservation and why? Why would the fare be in USD and not EUR if the trip started in Rome, assuming it was a one way ticket? Are you now stranded in Rome?

It can't be that hard to get a copy of the email and refund notice that BudgetAir said they sent/issued to you. Did you ask? What does your credit card statement say who the merchant was for that transaction. There cannot be a charge to your credit card unless an eticket was issued, it is that which creates the credit card charge.

Thank you for all your help!

I should've researched more before I booked, I thought it should be fine to use cheaper options.

So I am currently located in Canada. So I booked 2 one-way tickets from different agencies.

And if I see my transaction, merchant is Chinese Eastern_V.

After I knew about this cancellation, what BudgetAir said is:

And there was neither one email (checked spam mailbox too) nor any returns.

And they finally said: talk to the airline directly

But they failed to get the ticket so it doesn't make sense.

I don't even have my ticket number.

So what I'm going to do from now is to ask to the bank If I can dispute my transaction verifying ticket booking never happened.

That is the right move. Dispute the transaction. I hope you used a credit card. Debit isn’t as good. If you did a cash transfer you may have trouble getting it back.

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Air Canada flight forced to return back to Toronto after failing to land 3 times

Latest Videos

What's normally a three-hour routine flight out of Toronto turned into a nightmare for passengers after an Air Canada  aircraft failed to land at its destination three times, forcing the flight crew to make a U-turn and fly all the way back to Pearson International Airport. 

According to flight data tracking website, FlightAware, flight AC698 took off at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Monday.

The aircraft was headed for St. John's, Newfoundland, and was due to arrive at roughly 2:20 a.m. local time.

However, upon its approach to St. John's, flight tracker video shows the aircraft struggling to land. Unsuccessful the first time around, the aircraft loops back for a second aborted landing, and, finally, looping around for a third attempt at touching down.

2/6/24 | #NLwx | The crew on @AirCanada flight 698 did all they could to try and land early this morning in St. John’s, but the winds proved too high! They tried 3 times to land and ultimately had to fly back to Toronto. They took off at 9:43 PM EST and landed back in Toronto… — Eddie Sheerr (@EddieSheerr) February 6, 2024

The third time wasn't the charm in this case, as the aircraft failed to land once again. Instead of a fourth attempt, the pilots instead opted to fly the plane all the way back around to Pearson Airport. The aircraft landed back in Toronto just after 4 a.m., with a total flight time of 6 hours and 43 minutes. 

This gives me anxiety just watching the flight path .. Worst fear is attempting to land and having to circle back to the prior destination. — Jonny Fancy (@jfancyrealtor) February 6, 2024

An Air Canada spokesperson told blogTO that upon arriving in St. John's, cross-winds prevented the flight from landing safely. "Due to the severe winter weather affecting other airports in the region and the time of day, returning to Toronto was the best option," a statement to blogTO reads. 

Sure made for a long flight! But we made it back to Toronto safe and sound ! — amanda harris (@amandaharris48) February 6, 2024

While the crew and passengers thankfully made it back to Toronto safe and sound, many people took to X (formerly Twitter) to share similar tales about their own flights having to return back to their origin point, and how distressing the whole experience tends to be. 

"Ugh! Had this same unfortunate experience a few years ago," one person wrote . "No fun for passengers or crew….but we're alive."

Join the conversation Load comments

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