Hundreds of passengers are missing at Portland International Airport as cancellations continue at an unusual pace on Wednesday.
At least 40 flights had been canceled as of noon, and 47 on Tuesday, according to the Port of Portland website. About three-quarters of the canceled trips were operated by Southwest Airlines, according to the tracking company FlightAware.
As The Oregonian/OregonLive previously reported, the airport typically experiences about 25 to 30 canceled flights a day.
Portland’s passenger misery is just a small fraction of nearly 8,000 flights canceled nationwide on Tuesday, according to FlightAware.
The airline is now under federal scrutiny after stormy winter weather in Portland and disruptions to flights across the country ahead of the holiday weekend.Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington State As chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, he vowed to investigate the spate of cancellations and their impact on stranded travelers.
In Portland, miserable passengers vented on Twitter as a layer of ice kept most of the planes from landing.
“Drove 27 hours from PDX to ORD and still got there faster than the plane,” wrote one Twitter user, using abbreviations for Chicago’s Portland International Airport and O’Hare International Airport.
In a statement, a Southwest Airlines spokeswoman said the airline plans to cut flights by two-thirds while addressing operational challenges.
Portland Port did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Our journalism needs your support.Become a Subscriber Today OregonLive.com/subscribe