Cancellations across the nation

Due to thousands of flight cancellations across the country, students faced difficulties when trying to return home


Lizzie McPhee

A scenic image of a chilly day in Keene, New Hampshire, where Lizzie McPhee (’23) and her family vacationed over winter break.

Sofia Chianella, Editor

As millions of people arrived at the airport after completing their holiday festivities, they suddenly met with an obstacle known as flight cancellations. USA Today reported that more than 20,000 flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve, to, from, or within the United States. Flight cancellations began before the end of December, mainly caused by tough winter weather and staff shortages due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

As she tried to return back to the United States after a trip to Puerto Rico, Kaithlyn Tubens (‘23) received the information that her flight would be delayed by an hour. Little did she know that the delay would be much longer than that. As the hold up continued and eventually turned into a cancellation, Tubens and her family realized impediments lie ahead.

“When I found out about the flight cancellation I was just frustrated and upset. We had already done so much to pack and say goodbye to everyone, we had school the next morning, our dogs in dog boarding. The whole thing felt inconsiderate of our time. There was definitely a part of me that had to return to responsibilities such as doctors appointments and previous commitments which fell on the day of my arrival. It was just a very overwhelming experience but we are glad we managed to come back and we are really lucky there were flights during the same week so we managed to resolve all our commitments,” Tubens said.

After a long day of traveling back from New Hampshire, Lizzie McPhee (‘23) was denied access to her flight scheduled at 11 p.m. McPhee and her family vacationed to enjoy winter activities such as snowboarding and skiing. When the McPhee family found out that they weren’t given access to boarding on a plane home to Tampa, the emotions of the trip quickly changed.

“I was pretty upset. I had really wanted to go home and ended up having to get a hotel room because my flight had to leave at 11 a.m. the next day. Everyone [those at the airport] seemed extremely irritated and very tired. I think everyone wanted to go home as bad as I did,” McPhee said.

With flight cancellations continuing, more questions arise on what actions have effectively contributed in order to solve this ongoing aviation disaster. As of 9:17 a.m on January 18th, Flight Aware, a flight tracking service, has reported that 366 flights have been delayed and 196 flights have been canceled today to, within, or out of the United States.