Speed Reads

Nature's Nightmares

More flights than ever before were canceled last winter

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If you flew anywhere this past winter, you probably immediately regretted it. U.S. airlines canceled 4.6 percent of their flights last winter, making it the worst winter ever for air travel in the 20 years that the government has been keeping flight stats, according to new data released from the Department of Transportation.

Weather was the biggest reason why thousands of flights were canceled, as a seemingly neverending onslaught of snow, ice, and wind hammered much of the country. New government regulations prohibiting airlines from stranding people on tarmacs also made airlines more prone to canceling flights in advance of a storm.

ExpressJet, a regional airline that operates flights for several larger carriers, was the worst offender: It axed 5.1 percent of its flights in March. Meanwhile, JetBlue had the highest cancellation rates among the bigger airlines, scrapping 2 percent of flights.