January worst month for flight cancellation in years


Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 7:01 PM -

It's been a bruising winter for travelers. the season isn't even over yet - and it may already have been the worst winter to fly.

Last month was the worst January for flight cancellations in the U.S. in years.

According to flight tracking site flightaware, a staggering 40,000 U.S. flights were canceled in last month. That's four times more than the past two years.

Nasty weather is partly to blame.

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More airlines are now pre-canceling flights to avoid flying in bad weather that would risk planes and passengers getting stuck or snowed in.

Federal rules also cause cancellations.

Airlines don't want to risk passengers waiting too long on the tarmac -- that could net fines of more than $1 million.

Some analysts also blame the new rule requiring pilots get more rest between shifts.

Everyone is in favor of more safety and certainly passengers want their crew to be rested, but there is no question when a pilot can work fewer hours in a week, and can work fewer hours in a day between flights there are going to be more delays and cancellations.

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