United continues to cancel flights after weekend storms


(TVLW) – The effects of a winter storm that blew through the area with wind gusts as strong as 70 mph still were being felt Tuesday by United Airlines passengers, as the Chicago-based airline canceled, for the second consecutive day, dozens of scheduled arrivals and departures at O’Hare International Airport.

The cancellations were made so that the airline could recover from the effects of this weekend’s storm, and to better serve the huge number of passengers expected to pass through the airport through the rest of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, an airline spokesman said.

According to the Web site flightstats.com, approximately 150 flights either bound for or heading out of O’Hare over the past two days have been canceled by United.

On Monday, 30 of United’s 537 scheduled departures and 56 of its 525 scheduled arrivals at O’Hare were cancelled, according to flightstats.com. On Tuesday, as of 3 p.m., 39 of United’s 284 scheduled O’Hare departures and 25 of the airline’s 276 arrivals at the airport had been canceled.

United spokesman Jeff Kovick could not immediately confirm the number of flights that had been canceled, but he said they were “a small percentage” of the total number of flights United operated the past two days.

“We proactively canceled a small percentage of flights in order to better accommodate our customers and get them to their destinations safely and as quickly as possible,” United spokesman Kovick said.

“This is a residual impact of the winter storms this weekend,” he explained.

Kovick would not say if the airline had nearly recovered from the storms and if it expected to continue to cancel flights in this manner Wednesday, stressing, “at this point we’re concentrating on safely and quickly getting our customers to their destinations. Certainly we’re looking ahead, and we plan to do the same tomorrow as well.”