Dozens of flights canceled at LAX as airlines continue to struggle with bad weather, crew shortages

A holiday traveler wearing a face mask arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Icy weather to the east combined with COVID-driven crew shortages Sunday to cause the cancellation of more than 120 flights into and out of Los Angeles International Airport, continuing a holiday period of disruption at airline hubs around the nation.

LAX spokesman Heath Montgomery said 123 flights had been scratched by midday, a number that could rise before the end of the New Year’s weekend. That was a slight improvement over Saturday, when 137 flights were canceled.

About 200,000 passengers were expected at LAX on Sunday, one of the busiest days in the 21 months since the pandemic began scrambling air travel, Montgomery said. But the passenger totals remained roughly 20% below peak levels before the coronavirus outbreak, he said.


“The big rush will be tonight,” Montgomery added. “If you’re flying tonight, check your flight status and get here early.”

Nationwide, 2,510 flights were canceled as of Sunday afternoon, 240 fewer than on Saturday, according to the tracking site.

For the major carriers, scrubbed arrivals and departures at LAX on Sunday accounted for 2% of American Airlines’ flights; 3% of United’s; 5% of Delta’s; and 10% of Southwest’s, FlightAware figures showed. The cancellation rate for LAX as a whole was 6%, and about one in seven flights was delayed, according to the site.

A Southwest spokeswoman cited snowstorms as a principal factor in its cancellations, which she said were likely to increase.