Weather causes hundreds of flight delays, cancellations at Sea-Tac Airport

Hundreds of flights in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have been canceled or delayed due to winter weather, according to FlightAware.

According to, at one point, there were nearly 200 cancellations and over 350 delays as of Tuesday evening. 

Alaska Airlines said it has pre-canceled about 100 flights for Tuesday. Any passenger whose flight was canceled will be contacted and accommodated on another flight.

Alaska Airlines explained on its blog the need to pre-cancel flights before snow arrives at SEA:

"We use numerous tools and resources to help us predict the weather. When our forecasts tell us to expect snow or ice, we know we need to act. Freezing temperatures and precipitation mean that we need to deice our aircraft before they can safely fly (more info on that below). Much like putting chains or studded tires on your car before hitting a snowy road, deicing aircraft slows down our operation. This means we can’t move our normal number of aircraft into and out of the airport. In order to reduce traffic jams, we need to proactively cancel flights from our schedule so we can keep as many aircraft moving as possible.

"If we need to cancel flights, we try and let impacted guests know as early as possible. This means it could look clear and beautiful outside, but your flight tomorrow may have been canceled."

By Tuesday night, there were only about 20 delays and nine cancelations.