Winter Weather Causes Over 700 Flight Disruptions At Denver International Airport

Denver’s high temperature on Saturday did not reach above zero degrees.

Several travelers passing through Denver International Airport (DEN) on Saturday were impacted by winter weather as hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed. With the region experiencing subzero temperatures, many airlines had to make last-minute changes to their operations.

It comes as more than 1,000 flights were affected at DEN on Friday due to wintry conditions. As the system continues moving eastward, other Midwest and East Coast airports are bracing for impact.

Starting off 2024 with more flight impacts

As of 16:30 MDT on Saturday, there were a total of 575 delays and 156 cancelations at DEN, according to FlightAware data. With a major hub at the airport, United Airlines suffered from the most cancelations at 64, accounting for 11% of its operations at the airport. The carrier’s delays were also significant, topping 197, equivalent to 33% of its operation in the Mile High City.

Several regional flights were also impacted. SkyWest Airlines, which operates under the United Express Brand, recorded 42 cancelations and 72 delays. The numbers represent 15% and 26% of the carrier’s operation at the airline, respectively. Southwest Airlines came in third in terms of cancelations at 33 flights, or 7%, but the low-cost airline had the most amount of flights that were delayed as of 16:00, recording 187 flights, or 42% of its movements.

With 12 canceled flights between Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Montana, the particular route experienced the largest number of cancelations, according to Denver FOX affiliate, KDVR. Other impacted flights originating at DEN were departures to and from Eppley Field in Omaha, Nebraska, with 10 cancellations, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, where four flights were axed.

Busy holiday travel

The cancelations come amid a holiday weekend, where air travel was expected to surge. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg estimated that more than 46,200 flights operated on Thursday. While the number was expected to decrease slightly as the weekend continued, nearly 43,000 flights are still estimated nationwide on Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to winter weather, the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX was also likely a factor in the disruptions. United is the largest operator of the plane type, while Alaska Airlines is the second. Notably, Alaska did not have any cancelations at DEN as of 16:00 on Saturday, according to FlightAware.

Earlier on Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered that aircraft departing from DEN to be deiced to help remove snow and ice and ensure they were safe to operate. On the FAA’s National Airspace System Status, the agency also listed that Akron-Canton Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Kansas City International Airport, MBS International Airport, and Pittsburgh International Airport were under the deicing measure.

“Warming up” into the 40s

The number of flight disruptions looks similar to Friday when DEN recorded 820 delays and 191 cancelations. United, expectedly, suffered greatly, canceling 77 flights and delaying 222. Southwest, however, beat United’s delays with 296, but the airline only canceled 47 flights. SkyWest had 34 cancelations and 114 delays.

Denver’s high temperature on Saturday was -2 degrees. On Sunday, a high of 10 degrees is forecasted with overcast conditions. Monday, with a high of 1 degree, will be the last day that temperatures are in the single digits, as conditions are expected to warm up relatively into the 30s and 40s next week.


Aviation Groups In US Write To Government Challenging Public Charter Rules

JSX’s unique offering allows passengers curb to seat in just 20 minutes.

Aviation groups are expressing their opposition to changing the US government rules protecting public charter carriers like JSX, which would limit their way of operating.

Multiple airlines and aircraft manufacturers have voiced their concern by sending a letter to the US government earlier this week, noting that a rule change would have negative consequences and stifle competition.

Including the FAA

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Notice of Intent, which requested public comment regarding the revision of ‘on demand’ operations, which, through DOT Part 380, allows the public air charter to transport passengers interstate.

Competition has noted that this loophole allows public charters to avoid standard aviation safety regulations, which JSX denies. It states that these claims could be detrimental to its growth and is a campaign to put it out of business

JSX has recently launched its own online campaign, encouraging the current policy to remain. It supports other charter airlines operating similar models and providing air services to communities that cannot sustain commercial air service. As reported by Flightglobal, the organizations supporting operations such as JSX wrote:

“In an industry where four major airlines control more than 80% of the domestic market, Part 380 provides much-needed competition in a highly concentrated marketplace, often ensuring secondary markets and small communities continue to have options for meeting the air transportation needs of their citizens.”

Public charter airlines
In the United States, four leading carriers demand more than 80% of the commercial air market, and part 380 provides competition for secondary markets; earlier this year, SkyWest announced plans to launch a similar operation to JSX, identifying the niche market as lucrative and profitable.

These ‘on-demand’ air services are the loophole that the major carriers are trying to limit, as JSX is defined as a part 135 operator, which can provide on-demand, unscheduled passenger or freight air services, in which through Part 380, allows the air transportation of passengers interstate. Under Part 135, there are cases where charter operators such as JSX can sell scheduled flights but in limited quantities.


Based out of Dallas Love Field, it operates to destinations in the US and Mexico by describing itself as a ‘hop on, hop off’ service, with its fleet of 17 Embraer ERJ-135 and 28 ERJ-147, which seat up to 30 passengers. The carrier departs from private jet terminals at the airports it operates, marketing to passengers you can be from ‘curb to seat’ in just 20 minutes.

Avoiding airport lines, crowds, and noninvasive security means passengers have more time and can fly in style. Private lounges at its partner airports enhance this intimate jet experience. JSX hopes for passengers to rediscover the joys of flying, and after landing, you’re promised to have your baggage back in your hands within five minutes.

JetBlue and Qatar Airways have minority shares in JSX, and passengers onboard JSX flights can earn miles for United Airlines MileagePlus and JetBlue TrueBlue.

Other well-known charter airlines include European TUI, providing a vast network across Europe and North America for vacationers, and Air Canada Jetz, which operates predominantly for corporate clients and sports teams.


EU261 – How Does Europe’s Flight Compensation Scheme Work?

The Air Passengers Rights Regulation 2004 safeguards consumer rights after delays and cancelations.

Most people traveling in Europe know that there is a good compensation scheme for canceled and delayed flights, as well as for passengers who are denied boarding. It is a great scheme, but the rules are complex, with several factors affecting how much (if anything) airlines have to pay out. Knowing how this works before you have any travel problems is useful.

Compensation in Europe

Europe has some of the most generous regulations for compensation in the event of flight delays and cancelations. These were introduced in 2004, as Regulation EC 261/2014 (commonly referred to as just EU261), and have applied to all flights since February 17th, 2005. The regulations mandate compensation of between €250 ($266) and €600 ($639) and duty of care responsibilities for airlines.

Application of EU261

EU261 applies to the following:

  • All flights departing from an EU airport (regardless of airline or destination)
  • All flights to an EU airport, operated by a European based airline

This, of course, creates a strange situation where passengers are only covered for half of a long-haul trip if flying with a non-EU airline. An American Airlines return from Paris to New York, for example, would be covered for the outbound flight from Paris, but not the return. An Air France flight would be covered for both.

Interestingly, while Norway and Switzerland aren’t members of the EU, they are still part of EU261 rules, while the UK has its own similar scheme. EU 261 applies to all passengers, regardless of nationality. And it applies to any publically available purchased ticket. This includes low promotion fares (such as those offered by low-cost airlines), tickets purchased using airline mileage, and even mistake or error fares. It would not include staff discounted or free tickets.

How much is the compensation for a delay?

Compensation for delayed flights (and for denied boarding) applies under the following circumstances:

  • The flight is delayed over three hours. This is based on scheduled and actual arrival time at the final destination. It is not based on departure time, nor does it apply for just part of a connecting journey if the final arrival time is not impacted.
  • The delay must not be due to ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ The main consideration here is whether the airline could have foreseen or done anything to avoid the delay. Over the years, this has been further clarified, but still often causes confusion and claims difficulties. Weather, air traffic control delays, strikes, and political unrest are not covered. Avoidable technical aircraft problems, staffing, and scheduling issues should be.

The amount of compensation depends on the total delay time and the length of the flight, as follows:

For a flight up to 1,500 kilometers:

  • €250 ($266) for a delay over three hours

For a flight between 1,501 and 3,500 kilometers within the EU:

  • €400 ($426) for a delay over three hours

For a flight over 3,500 kilometers within the EU:

  • €400 ($426) for a delay over three hours

For a flight over 3,500 kilometers:

  • €300 ($319) for a delay of three to four hours
  • €600 ($639) for a delay over four hours

What about flight cancellations?

EU261 also provides cover when flights are canceled. In all circumstances, passengers are entitled to duty of care and flight rebooking, rerouting, or a ticket refund.

If the flight is canceled less than 14 days before departure, compensation may also apply. This is at the same rate as the compensation for a delay but subject to a few changes, including:

  • For notification over 14 days before, no compensation applies.
  • If the passenger was notified between 14 and seven days before the flight, compensation does not apply if a re-route is offered that departs no more than two hours earlier than originally scheduled and arrives no more than four hours later.
  • If the passenger was notified less than seven days before the flight, compensation does not apply if a re-route is offered that departs no more than one hour earlier and arrives no more than two hours later.
  • When the flight is canceled due to extraordinary circumstances, compensation does not apply.

Duty of care responsibilities

As well as compensation, EU261 mandates duty of care from the airlines. This is a welcome relief for passengers; in many countries, such care is either substandard or very much depends on the policies of separate airlines. Such duty of care responsibility applies in all cases, including ‘extreme circumstances’ that do not require financial compensation.

This includes

  • Providing an allowance for meals and refreshments, depending on the flight delay.
  • Hotel accommodation and transport for overnight delays.
  • Re-reimbursement for communication, such as phone calls or email facilities.

How to claim compensation

Airlines will not automatically offer such compensation; it is up to passengers to raise a claim. Passengers can claim either directly with the airline or through a third-party company.

Claiming with the airline is not that complicated. Most airlines have a procedure (and usually a form) on their website, and you simply submit flight and ticket details. Make sure you keep boarding passes or other evidence, though, as it may be needed.

Depending on the airline and the circumstances of the delay, airlines may pay easily or refuse initially. In these cases, passengers can escalate the claim through a local regulatory body. Using a third-party company (there are many around) for the whole claim, or just a later escalation, can be easier and quicker. But they will take a percentage of any compensation awarded.

Also, note that the claim can be made much later – up to five or six years later in most cases – so it does not have to be filed at the same time as the delay. So focus on ensuring proper care and suitable flight re-booking if necessary, then follow up later with the EU261 claim.

Compensation in other countries

The EU regulations are a great bonus for passengers who can make use of them; they are much more comprehensive and well-defined than in most other countries. And the amounts offered, especially for low-cost short flights, are very generous. After a rule change last year, non-EU carriers are now required to follow EU261 regulations when operating flights for EU carriers – a loophole was closed after three passengers sued United In the US, for example, airlines have a duty to provide some care, but not compensation. However, the US Department of Transport (DOT) has been mulling over an EU261-style compensation scheme recently, so things could change stateside sooner than you think. As Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg noted, the rule would “require airlines to compensate passengers and cover expenses such as meals, hotels, and rebooking in cases where the airline has caused a cancellation or significant delay.”

Similar proposals are on the table in Australia, but carriers are against it, claiming it would only push up airfares to pay for all the compensation claims. Speaking to The Guardian, John Sharp, Deputy Chairman of Rex, claimed,

Airlines for a delay during a flight operated for German carrier Lufthansa.


Where United Airlines Is Flying Its Boeing 757-300s

United still has more 757-300s than any other carrier, and this is where they are flying in September.

Having entered service with Germany’s leisure airline Condor nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Boeing 757-300 is still going strong. This includes with United, which has 21 of the 55 aircraft built – more than any other airline. Its example average 21.1 years old.

United’s 21 757-300s

When writing on September 8th, all but one of United’s 757-300s are active. The sole exception is N74856. According to Flightradar24, this 19.7-year-old aircraft last flew on August 18th, when it operated UA3883 from the carrier’s hub at Chicago O’Hare – the world’s second-busiest airport by July flights – to Pensacola, presumably for maintenance reasons.

Inherited from Continental, the large 757 variant is a so-called middle-of-the-market aircraft. It is well known for its high capacity and low unit cost rather than range and is a pretty economical sub-fleet, even though it is old technology now.

In 2018, United increased the number of seats to 234. Of course, this reduced seat-mile costs further while increasing revenue generation opportunities. It became an even more competitive variant, further dictating where they were used.

21 routes in September, all domestic

It is not surprising that United’s 757-300s are mainly used on pretty high-density routes in September. Most are hub-to-hub routes, but some are leisure-focused to Orlando. Based on Cirium data, the following map illustrates where they are flying this month. There are no flights from Newark, its busiest hub. Cirium informs that has not had regular 757-300 flights there since 2016.

Top five routes

United has around 328 weekly 757-300 roundtrip flights in September, with the top routes (all hub-to-hub) shown below. Across the 21 routes, the variant has more flights from Chicago O’Hare than any other airport. This is not surprising given the table below:

Route and directionNumber of 757-300 flights*: SeptemberIs the 757-300 the most-used equipment in September?Find flights
Los Angeles to Chicago O’Hare28 weeklyYesClick here
San Francisco to Chicago O’Hare24 weeklyYesClick here
Chicago O’Hare to Denver21 weeklyNo (737-900 is)Click here
Denver to San Francisco17 weeklyNo (737-900 is)Click here
Washington Dulles to San Francisco15 weeklyYesClick here
* In this specified direction; may vary in the reverse

While it is the leading equipment between Los Angeles and Chicago O’Hare, the 737 MAX 9, 787-10, 737-900, 737 MAX 8, 737-800, and 777-200 are also used this month. Notice the two widebodies; US domestic widebody flights remain well above the pre-pandemic level, and United is the biggest operator..


Want An Airbus A380? Thai Airways Is Selling 6!

Thai Airways’ entire Airbus A380 fleet is currently up for bidding in “as-is, where-is” condition.


  •  Thai Airways has put its entire Airbus A380 fleet up for sale in an “as-is, where-is” condition following three years of grounding in Bangkok and Utapao.
  •  Although its A380s have not completed C-checks since before the pandemic, the jets are still considered airworthy with no permanent grounding directives.
  •  Thai Airways is focusing on a more streamlined fleet of newer jets, such as the Airbus A350, with plans to expand to 114 aircraft by 2027.

Despite a brief flicker of hope that Thai Airways‘ quadjet fleet would return to service amid a surge in demand late last year, its days of Airbus A380 ownership appear to be at an end. As reported by Aerotime Hub, the Thai flag carrier has opened bidding on its superjumbos until September 12.

Sale away

Listed in an “as-is, where-is” condition, Thai Airways’ A380s are up for grabs – for just the low deposit price of $50,000. With the oldest jet, HS-TUA, coming in at just under 11 years old, Thai Airways’ A380 fleet is relatively young – and under-utilized, averaging around 31,000 flight hours according to ch-aviation.

All six jets have remained grounded at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport (UTP) since the early days of the pandemic, leaving any interested air operator a significant amount of work and investment to return the giants to the skies. Any purchaser would be required to ferry the aircraft elsewhere or dismantle it on-site, limiting options.

Despite none of the aircraft completing C-checks since before the pandemic, Thai Airways’ A380 is noted to remain airworthy, with no Airworthiness Directives or Service Bulletins permanently grounding the aircraft.

According to the carrier’s invitation, it retains the right to reject bids from parties sanctioned by the United States and Thailand or any general “unfit suitor.”

The carrier previously attempted to shirk off its two youngest A380s, HS-TUE and HS-TUF, as part of its restructuring and bankruptcy plans in 2020 and 2021. The initial survey of interest failed to attract a buyer within the two-week purchase period, leaving questions as to whether Thai Airways can sell all six aircraft. The latest sale appears to fall under the same banner as the previous, with Thai Airways’ invitation letter outlining,

“The Bidder is well aware that this sale is conducted under the Bankruptcy Court’s order. The sale of the Aircraft contemplated by shall be subject to final approval of THAI’s Plan Administrator, and only upon receipt of such approval shall the sale be considered final and contemplated.”

Future fleets

Thai Airways A380 aren’t the only widebodies facing the chop. Although initially anticipating a 2024 retirement date, the carrier’s iconic Boeing 747-400s met a similar fate to its European counterpart, being listed for sale in 2021. Thai Airways shifted ten jumbo jets alongside one older Classic Boeing 737-400, leaving just seven remaining in storage at Bangkok and Utapao.

Bouncing back from bankruptcy, the airline is expected to quit protection next year, reemerging as a more streamlined and efficient carrier with a focus on Boeing and Airbus’ newer jets, shaving its fleet down to less than half of its pre-pandemic peak as of August 2023.

However, the airline is already gearing up to surpass that before 2027, utilizing a potential 30-strong widebody order and further leases to expand to around 114 aircraft over the next four years. An order is yet to materialize following reports in June, but as it gradually completes its fleet merger with Thai Smile, an update may be on the horizon.