HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!

Hurricane Harvey wreaks havoc on American air travel

Share this page on:

Donald Trump went to the Texas coast on August 29th to see for himself the disaster-relief effort in response to Hurricane Harvey. But few other people are able to travel there. The storm has brought record-breaking rains and devastating floods to the Houston area, killing at least 30 people so far (the toll is expected to rise as the waters recede). The human and economic damage is extensive, but Harvey has had repercussions in a wide variety of less critical areas, including business travel.

Across America, more than 9,000 flights have been cancelled since Friday, nearly all due to Harvey. On August 29th, as the storm continued to dump water on Houston and threaten New Orleans 350 miles to the east, more than 1,500 flights to, from, or within the United States were cancelled as of midafternoon and twice as many were delayed, according to FlightAware, a flight tracker. 

Half a dozen airports around Houston are closed, including the city’s two big international airports. The resulting chaos is hitting flyers well beyond Texas. More than 50m passengers passed through Houston’s airports last year. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is a major hub for United Airlines, which announced that the airport would remain closed until at least noon on Thursday. It serves more than 70 international destinations, so many travellers who aren’t starting or ending their trips in Texas—those flying from the east coast to Asia or Mexico, for example—still find themselves stranded by its closure. Houston’s second-biggest airport, William P. Hobby, is a hub for Southwest Airlines. The airport closed on Sunday morning, but Southwest still managed to rescue 500 stranded passengers before Hobby’s runways proceeded to turn into vast lakes.

United and Southwest passengers have borne the brunt of the cancellations. On Tuesday, 19% of all United flights were cancelled, as were 8% of Southwest flights. United is waiving fees for changing flights for customers flying into or out of 15 cities in Texas and Louisiana. Southwest is allowing passengers in Houston to fly into or out of four other cities in Texas until September 5th, an indication of just how long the effects of the storm are likely to be felt. 

As damaging as Harvey has been to the country’s flight network, the consequences are not as widespread as when a storm hits the east coast, which has the busiest airspace (in 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused more than 18,000 flights to be cancelled over five days). 

Snowstorms may get the most attention for wreaking havoc on flight schedules, but it is actually the summer months that see the most weather-related flight delays in America. In this sense, the situation in Houston isn’t all that atypical. Except when you’re talking about 50 inches of rain, a climbing death count, and tens of thousands of people forced into emergency shelters, there’s really nothing typical. But in an unfortunate twist to Harvey, a separate storm system is threatening America’s south-east.

NextLess lost luggage at the airport
Would you like to share your opinion?
  • I entirely agree (0.00%)
  • I entirely disagree (0.00%)
  • I somehow agree (0.00%)
  • I somehow disagree (0.00%)
  • I have no opinion (0.00%)
  • I don´t care (0.00%)
  • This is bullshit! (0.00%)
Follow mr

Julio Marchi ©

Publisher / Editor at BS News & Media Services
A free thinker, not labelled as anything, not associated with any party, not part of any group or engaged with any religion... A simple guy tired of the nowadays bullshit who decided to promote more serious debates about what is really happening hoping to bring back intelligence to the superficial and shallow news & headlines that unfortunately took over the existing media scene.
Follow mr





Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: