Cape Town - Travellers from South Africa who had set their sights on flying to the US for the new year can look forward to winter storms and airline staffing issues as a result of the weather continuing to wreak havoc across the US, forcing some airlines to cancel onward flights.
While so far no flights to the US from Cape Town and Johannesburg to the US have been affected, travel within the US has been hit by chaos because of the bad weather.
US commercial weather forecasting service AccuWeather said: “The storms could also contribute to regional and perhaps more nationwide travel woes.”
On Tuesday US President Joe Biden tweeted: “Thousands of flights nationwide have been cancelled around the holidays. Our Administration is working to ensure airlines are held accountable.”
NBC news said: “The United States and Canada are currently facing a bomb cyclone which has caused great snowfall and reduced temperatures greatly, disrupting travel as visibility has fallen at places.”
US carrier Delta Airlines, which early this month launched its daily nonstop flights from Cape Town to Atlanta has however assured passengers that it has enacted weather waivers for much of the country ahead of the impact of the weather for customers to make changes to their flights as needed.
Delta spokesperson Drake Castañeda told the Cape Argus that these weather waivers would be provided to their passengers “at no cost if they decided to travel on alternate dates instead of travelling during the more heavily weather-impacted dates”.
Castañeda said: “Delta works with our customers to re-accommodate them, as needed on their travels, in a proactive fashion.”
The news came as Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) reported that a challenge with refuelling of aircraft at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday had been resolved.
In a statement ACSA said operations were back to normal and apologised to travellers for the knock-on effects of late departures which led to delayed returned flights.