Travelers moving through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have coped with hundreds of delays, cancellations, and other difficulties over the last week, amid rising COVID-19 cases and cold, snowy weather.
Snow continues falling across Puget Sound region, more to come later in week
Multiple airlines across the United States have been dealing with flight crew shortages in recent days, with over 600 flights to and from Sea-Tac Airport either getting cancelled or delayed on Sunday alone. Things got even more difficult following the arrival of snow and below-freezing temperatures, leading to nearly 300 cancellations Monday, with another 450 flights delayed.
Crews at Sea-Tac have been working to de-ice, sweep, and plow runways since Saturday. But because it’s up to each individual airline to de-ice their own planes, arriving flights have been left on the tarmac for hours at a time while waiting for departing planes to finish that process.
More snow fell across the region on Tuesday, although Sea-Tac notes that the airport remains “open and operational,” with “minimal accumulation expected.”
“We are in normal cold weather operations with ongoing de-icing maintenance of runways, taxiways, and ramps,” airport officials said Tuesday.
It is snowing at SEA and the airport is open and operational. Minimal accumulation is expected. We are in normal cold weather operations with ongoing de-icing maintenance of runways, taxiways, and ramps. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/1JthdV4JF7
— Seattle-Tacoma Intl. Airport (@flySEA) December 28, 2021
Meanwhile, airlines are scrambling to rebook passengers on cancelled flights, return lost luggage, and fill ongoing staffing shortages.
Sea-Tac’s advice for travelers: “Hang in there.”
“This has been exasperating