Southwest Airlines suspended all flights to and from Dallas Love Field on Thursday with snow and freezing temperatures expected to accompany an approaching winter storm.
Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Love Field, has issued travel advisories for 13 airports in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee ahead of the winter storm expected to sweep through the region with a build-up of snow, sleet and snow. ice and dropping temperatures into the 1920s and even teenagers between Thursday and Saturday.
In fact, the Dallas-based airline canceled all of its flights from St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Wednesday with plans to reopen on Thursday.
“Our operational planners closely monitor Winter Storm Landon as it moves eastward across the United States and adjust our schedule as necessary,” Southwest said in a statement.
Southwest had 352 flights scheduled at Love Field on Thursday, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium. Southwest had 162 flights in and out of St. Louis on Wednesday.
American Airlines also preemptively canceled about 300 arriving and departing flights from DFW International Airport for Thursday, about 25% of all scheduled flights for that day, according to Flightaware.com. Systemwide, American Airlines has canceled approximately 820 flights due to the storm.
“This week’s winter storm is expected to have a significant impact on our operation, especially in the northeastern and central regions of the United States,” American Airlines spokeswoman Gianna Urgo said in a statement. “The vast majority of affected flights have been canceled in advance so that we can proactively inform and accommodate our customers and avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport.”
Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport, said on Tuesday the airport plans to make decisions about operations on Wednesday.
Airlines often have limited operations at weather-affected airports during unstable conditions, but closing an airport completely is rare. Southwest also allows customers to rebook flights for the next 14 days at no additional cost.
Love Field, which is located just north of downtown and is operated by the city, still has scheduled flights from Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines on Thursday, spokesman Chris Perry said.
“In any case, the airport will still be open and our airport crews will be working to ensure the field remains operational,” Perry said.