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FedEx, UPS warn on delays, airlines cancel more flights

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An American Eagle plane taxis during a snow storm at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Seattle, Washington, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

FedEx and United Parcel Service warned that packages could arrive late this week as an enormous winter storm brought high winds, bitter cold and snow to large swaths of the USA ahead of Christmas weekend.

Severe weather was already snarling air travel during what is anticipated to be one among the busiest travel periods since before the pandemic.

“FedEx Express experienced substantial disruptions at our Memphis and Indianapolis hubs last night as a result of severe winter weather that has been moving across the USA,” FedEx said Friday. It said packages set for delivery on Friday and Saturday, which is Christmas Eve, might be delayed across the country.

UPS said severe weather “across several regions of the U.S. are impacting the united statesAir and Ground network, including UPS hubs in Louisville, Kentucky and Rockford, Illinois. In consequence, some delivery and pickup services in these areas might be affected.”

The warnings come during one among the busiest times for package delivery, ahead of Christmas Day on Sunday.

The huge winter storm made getting home for the vacations a challenge for 1000’s of travelers. Airlines cancelled greater than 6,000 flights and delayed greater than 20,000 from Wednesday through Friday, based on flight-tracker FlightAware. The period includes a few of what airlines expect to be the busiest days of the vacation period. Snow and sleet within the Pacific Northwest also disrupted flights.

Federal forecasters warned about treacherous road conditions, dangerously low temperatures and high winds in cities from Chicago to Boston. The National Weather Service had parts of Florida, including Tampa and Orlando, under a freeze warning Saturday morning.

On Thursday alone, 10% of U.S. airlines’ scheduled flights were cancelled while almost half were delayed, arriving late by a mean of around 70 minutes, FlightAware data showed.

Near 4,000 U.S. flights were cancelled on Friday.

Airlines aim to cancel flights as far ahead of time as possible so travelers, crews and planes aren’t stranded on the airport during bad weather.

American, Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, Spirit and other carriers waived change fees and fare differences for greater than 50 airports if travelers can fly later.

An inside look at how the FAA and airlines deal with bad weather

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