FedEx, UPS warn severe winter storm could delay holiday packages, and airlines cut more flights

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FedEx and United Parcel Service warned that packages could be delayed as a massive winter storm brought high winds, bitter cold and snow to large swaths of the U.S. ahead of Christmas weekend.

The severe weather was already snarling air travel during what is expected to be a busy week for airlines.

“FedEx Express experienced substantial disruptions at our Memphis and Indianapolis hubs last night due to severe winter weather that has been moving across the United States,” FedEx said Friday. It said packages set for delivery on Friday and Saturday, which is Christmas Eve, could be delayed across the U.S.

UPS said severe weather “across several regions of the U.S. are impacting the UPS Air and Ground network, including UPS hubs in Louisville, Kentucky and Rockford, Illinois. As a result, some delivery and pickup services in these areas will be affected.”

An American Eagle plane taxis during a snow storm at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Seattle, Washington, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The warnings come during one of the busiest times for package delivery, ahead of Christmas Day on Sunday.

The massive winter storm snarled holiday air travel with carriers canceling more than 6,000 flights and delaying more than 20,000 from Wednesday through Friday, which included some of what airlines expect to be the busiest days of the holiday period. Snow and sleet in the Pacific Northwest also disrupted flights.

American, Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, Spirit and other carriers waived change fees and fare differences for more than 50 airports if travelers can fly later.

Melville, N.Y.: A United States Postal Service employee placing packages on the facility’s newest parcel sorting machine called SIPS as they prepare for one of the busiest days of the year on Dec. 12, 2022.
Alejandra Villa Loarca | Newsday | Getty Images

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