6,000 Flights Cancelled In 2 Days As Polar Vortex Freezes US

Deep freeze Chicago O'Hare polar vortexAPFreezing temperatures brought Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to a near standstill on Monday.

More than 2,000 flights into, out of, and within the U.S. today have been cancelled as “eye-popping OMG type cold” temperatures batter the nation.

Over 4,000 flights were cancelled on Monday.

Airports in the Midwest and Northeast have been hit especially hard. Over 30% of flights to and from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway have been cancelled.

Cleveland-Hopkins, Boston Logan, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, and John F Kennedy are all reporting high cancellation rates as well, according to FlightAware.com.

On top of producing snow and ice, cold weather can freeze equipment and make it harder for workers to remain outside, slowing everything down. That leads to delays and cancellations.

JetBlue, whose base is in the Northeast, has cancelled nearly 30% of its flights today, and 45% of its flights yesterday. Between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, it stopped nearly all operations at Boston and New York airports, in part to give its crews necessary rest and have time to service its planes. The airline has passengers stuck in the Caribbean, and getting them home has been a challenge.

American Airlines has cancelled about 100 mainline flights, and about 275 regional flights (usually operated by partners like American Eagle).

FlightAware.com’s Misery Map shows how problems in the New York area have a ripple effect across the country:

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