Airports, Airlines, Aviation

Snowpocalypse at the airport

With the recent 2016 blizzard on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, the snowpocalypse is leading to many stranded passengers at the airport, as well as several airports actually shutting down. Just take a look at all the delays, cancellations, and flight impacts using this neat interactive heat map web app produced by Flight Aware, and we can see the snowpocalypse impact throughout the North American airport infrastructure network:

The Snowpocolypse Flight map
The Snowpocalypse Flight map – Flight Aware

ORD and NYC have the worst network effect when it comes to flight impacts, with ATL a close second. My home airport, DEN fared fairly well all things considered (it’s still a United hub, with routes coming in from the Eastern seaboard, but DEN hasn’t gotten any snow this week). DEN has showed 16 delayed flights and only 1 cancellation, as compared to NYC’s 80 delayed flights and 59 cancelled flights. Granted, NYC includes everal airports (JGK, LGW, EWR) compared to Denver’s one (DEN), but you get the idea still.

According to Skift, more than 6,000 flights were cancelled over the weekend, with most happening on Saturday (4,400) at NYC and WAS airports.

Airlines canceled more than 6,600 flights this weekend as the blizzard hitting the East Coast brings major cities to a standstill.

Another interesting effect this snowpocalypse has been the proliferation of twitter hashtags related to being stuck at the airport.

Several hashtags have been floating around, used by frustrated travelers to voice their grievances, as well as airports to keep people informed of the state of the snowpocalypse – they include:

#AirportsNowDown – which is funny because I first read this snowpocalypse hashtag as “Airport Snowdown”, which I assumed was a play on another semi-popular hashtag #snowdown. But nope, it’s airports with an “s” and then “now down”. 🙂 Also, I’m surprised that ACI-NA chose this as a hashtag because, to me, it conjures up very negative images that I would think airports would like to keep their brands away from, especially given the already negative situation of a blizzard bringing travel to a standstill. Even so, some airport brands have managed to use this negative connotation to their advantage – check out how PHX (which by the way is covered in the tripchi airport app) has spun this snowpocalypse here:

#Blizzard2016 and #Jonas are a few that airports are using to keep people abreast of the snowpocalypse, but it’s a broader hashtag than just airports (in case you want to get in on the action). 🙂


Incidentally, PIT is also part of the tripchi airport app –

#AirportThrowdown is another snowpocalypse hashtag one I’ve seen recently – which seems to be tied to both #Blizzard2016 and #AirportsNowDown. This hashtag has been promoted by the ACI-NA (Airports Council International – North America) using @AirportsCouncil.


I must say, I don’t really get it. But hey, it probably does mean something (sounds negative again, however, and not something airport brands would want to associate with).

If you want to see a nice roll-up of various tweets related to the snowpocalypse, then I suggest visiting Harriet Baskas’s blog, Stuck At The Airport – link here. And feel free to join in the #hashtag fun, and shoot @tripchi a note with your best #Airportsnowdown story.

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