With the much of the West under severe winter weather alerts, the travel industry is being heavily impacted.

A Vicious Winter Storm Has Already Canceled 1,600 Flights—Here’s What to Know

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Horizontal color image of airport runway during snowstorm and woman looking and waiting for departure.

It’s a wild week in weather, with much of the West under severe weather alerts, and in Los Angeles, there are even blizzard warnings in effect. According to FlightAware, over 1,650 flights have been canceled in the US at the time of publishing due to this extreme weather, with 60 million people across 28 states under winter weather alerts. While the majority of flights canceled are out of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver has the second largest number of cancelations in the country.

And all of this comes on the heels of what has been a particularly wild time in air travel, with bomb cyclones and holiday travel meltdowns having taken place in the past few months. Regional carrier SkyWest, which operates through partnerships with United, Delta, American, and Alaska Airlines, had canceled more than 350 flights. Delta and Southwest had both canceled more than 250 flights.

Many airlines still remain understaffed after the pandemic, with a major shortage of ground personnel, flight crew, and customer-care associates, putting an already strained industry at risk for another meltdown.

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As far as what to do if your flight is delayed, you’ll want to be sure to download your airline’s app and opt in for flight notifications so that you can be among the first to know in case your plans are starting to unravel. And if you’re at the airport and your flight looks like it will be delayed or canceled, head to the customer service desk as soon as possible to beat the crowd; at the same time, reach out to the airline via Twitter and even try calling to see which form of customer service you can get through to quickest. If you have access to an airline lounge, the agents in there might also be able to help you make changes faster than those out in the terminal.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to keep calm, do you best to stay warm, and travel on.

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