Holiday Travel Resurgence: Navigating Flight Cancellations and Airline Delays in 2023

What a transformation a year brings – especially evident to those who took to the skies during the notorious last week of 2022. Fast forward to the tail end of 2023, and the narrative has shifted to tales of improvement.

Between Christmas and New Year's, the skies witnessed a notable decline in flight cancellations, marking a stark contrast to the previous year's disastrous holiday travel chaos. According to FlightAware data, US carriers canceled less than 1% of the 162,000 flights scheduled from December 20 to 26, amounting to just 1,100 cancellations.

While the FAA had issued warnings of potential ground stops for flights departing major East Coast airports due to challenging weather conditions, these measures had yet to materialize by 3 p.m. ET. FlightAware reported only 129 flight cancellations and 3,800 delays across the United States.

This scene stands in stark opposition to Southwest Airlines' schedule crisis during the last week of 2022, resulting in the cancellation of 16,900 flights and leaving two million passengers stranded. Nonetheless, Southwest Airlines remained a notable contributor to flight delays during the holiday rush, with approximately one in four flights delayed over the past week.

From December 20 to 26, Southwest experienced a 27% delay rate, affecting 8,096 flights, while cancellations remained at 2%. The airline added to its delay count with another 985 flights – one in five scheduled flights – on Wednesday.

Despite a peak in delays on Tuesday, where nearly 28% of all flights were delayed by an average of 52 minutes, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the distinction between delays and cancellations. While Buttigieg considered the rate of cancellations "healthy," he acknowledged the need to scrutinize delays and press airlines on their operational practices.

American Airlines, on the other hand, reported late Tuesday that only a few regional flights were canceled due to weather conditions, highlighting its claim to "have the fewest cancellations among major carriers this holiday period."

Embark on worry-free holiday travel with, your go-to guide for navigating through potential flight cancellations and airline delays. Stay informed about real-time updates, expert advice, and insider tips to ensure a seamless and stress-free journey during the festive season. Let Letsjourney be your trusted companion, turning potential travel hiccups into smooth holiday adventures.