Storms Cancel 20,000 Flights Thus Far in 2015, Costing Airlines $65 Million

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

A series of storms that have walloped the northeastern United States has caused the cancellation of more than 20,000 airline flights thus far this year at a cost of $65 million to U.S. carriers, a new report says.

The three storms that have dumped mountains of snow on New England and the rest of the Northeast since Jan. 25 have delayed or canceled the flights of 1.6 million travelers, at a cost of $779 million, according to MasFlight, a company that collects and analyzes airline information from 100,000 flights worldwide.

As bad as that sounds, MasFlight data show that last year’s winter was even worse.

In January 2014, 52,000 flights were canceled because of bad weather. For the entire year, 126,000 flights were canceled, affecting 9 million passengers, according to MasFlight.

Still, the effect on air travelers has grown in recent years because the airline industry has increasingly canceled flights before foul weather moves in to save on the cost of paying crews and equipment to sit idle in storm-locked airports.