Flight delays and cancellations expected as winter weather moves in

Since Monday, Alaska Airlines said they have canceled six flights to and from Alaska.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Shawn Ooszak, from Palmer, was returning from a several-month trip in Portland, Oregon after helping a friend when he found himself stuck at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

“Just had a 12 and half hour layover and my flight got canceled and they canceled tonight’s flight as well so hopefully, they will be able to get me out in the morning,” Ooszak said.

Ooszak was trying to get to Nome, where he was planning to start panning for gold. But instead, his flight was canceled three times. Oozak has not been the only Alaskan with bad luck traveling this week. Since Monday, Alaska Airlines said they have canceled six flights, three flights headed south and three flights headed north from Anchorage. Alaska Airlines External Affairs Manager Tim Thompson said that more cancelations could potentially be on the way due to winter weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

“Weather across the Lower 48 could be challenging over the next few days. This may cause delays or cancellations,” Thompson wrote in a statement. “Depending on the weather event, we may need to proactively cancel flights from our schedule so we can keep as many aircraft moving as possible.”

According to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Communications Coordinator Megan Peters, weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest can create a domino effect and impact both incoming and departing flights.

“We do know there is weather events happening down in the Lower 48, and even though that’s so far away, those things can impact operations in multiple places, to include ANC,” Peters said.

Peters is urging travelers to check in with the airlines on their flight status before arriving at the airport. Peters said it’s part of creating a travel plan.

“People can be stressed out anyway due to the holidays, feel like they are being rushed,” Peters said. “It’s just really best to have a travel plan in place, from the time you leave your house to the time you get on your airplane, and a part of that is knowing when your plane takes off. The airlines are the best people to check with. So you do exactly when your plane should be taking off, and you can plan accordingly to that.”

Additionally, Peters recommends that people arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight departure. Thompson said that Alaska airlines will also be offering flexible travel policies for those traveling to and from Seattle and Portland.