Bad weather and capacity issues have forced the cancellation and delay of hundreds of flights in and out of Los Angeles (LAX) this week, as the US - like Australia - deals with one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
According to the Los Angeles Times, airport officials said some 230 flights had been affected by two bad storms, and flights had been delayed until later in the week. High winds too had slowed things down by forcing flights eastwards instead of west towards the ocean, airport spokeswoman Mary Grady told the paper.
Meanwhile, rain and snow had slowed operations out of LA, with blizzards in Colorado forcing airlines to cancel flights.
With the disruptions threatening to turn sour the mood of thousands of jolly holidaymakers, sheer passenger numbers had also lead to the crawl.
“The airport is at capacity,” Ms Grady said, adding that daily takeoffs had risen by 150 flights to nearly 2,000.
Additionally, lost and forgotten luggage was causing major disruptions, with three terminals evacuated on Wednesday after an unattended package was found.
Amid the holiday rush, Ms Grady reminded passengers to keep their possessions close, check the status of their flights before heading to the airport, monitor weather at their intended destinations and plan ahead to avoid headaches.
LAX’s busiest days are 2 and 3 January.
Meanwhile, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation is underway after a plane departing Los Angeles was sent in the direction of nearby mountains by air traffic controllers.
According to American ABC News, the EVA Air jet flew just hundreds of feet higher than the peak of Mt Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains, and also came close to an Air Canada plane that was flying right behind it.