Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales | News







Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

A recent survey from AAA finds that people are more likely to consider travel insurance because of COVID-19.






Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

Planning a trip or traveling, in general, has looked a lot different since the pandemic hit. One effect of the pandemic is that more people are opting to insure their trips. Some insurance providers have even started offering plans that cover losses because of covid-19 or other epidemic diseases. The survey from triple a showed that about one-third of travelers say they’re more likely to buy insurance for their trips planned between now and the end of next year, specifically because of COVID.






Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

“With everything going on, and really any time we always recommend the insurance because you never know what could happen. There are little things that could happen the day of that you’re traveling that you’d never expect and you can’t count on that, you, unfortunately, don’t control those kinds of things. It’s always a good idea to have that peace of mind that you’ve got some protection for your trip.”

AAA advises people to look into insurance policies that include a cancel for any reason component, and also to make sure you’re aware of any travel restrictions and requirements.

 Copyright 2021 by Lima Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.





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Maui’s ‘Safer Outside’ Program Is Now In Effect. Here’s What You Need To Know.


Following the implementation of the “Safe Access Oahu” program earlier this week, Maui County launched its own set of new rules that go into effect Wednesday, September 15th.

Designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, specifically the Delta variant, the order puts restrictions on dining and gatherings.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test will be required to eat indoors, but not outdoors.

Establishments on Maui will require proof of vaccination or negative test to eat inside restaurants or bars. However, unvaccinated folks will be allowed to dine outside with no restrictions. The rules apply to everyone 12 and older.

Gatherings are limited to groups of five people indoors and groups of 10 outdoors. Restaurant capacity will be 50%.

This means that there won’t be any outdoor festivals, and commercial boating operations will also have to adapt. Wait times at restaurants will likely be longer due to the reduced capacity limits.

The new rules will be in effect for 30 days.

After the 30 days, the rules will be reevaluated and addressed as it relates to the current COVID-19 situation. This means the current end date is October 15th.

The rules apply to all of Maui County, not just Maui.

Note that Maui County includes not just the entire island of Maui, but the islands of Lanai and Molokai as well.

The new rules are controversial with residents.

According to Hawaii News Now, some restaurant owners feel the new restrictions are an overreach of government and that the rules are not applied fairly to all businesses. On the flip side, the government maintains the rules are necessary for public health and to keep businesses open.



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Travel advisors reassure clients, but will EU guidance have chilling effect?: Travel Weekly


The U.S. travel trade was left scrambling to respond to the European Union’s decision last week to remove the U.S. from its “safe travel” list due to the recent rise in Covid cases.

Confusion ran rampant immediately following the announcement, which was not “legally binding,” according to the EU Council, with each EU member country left to decide whether to ramp up restrictions on U.S. inbound travel.

An online infographic shared by the council indicated that the EU continued to support travel by those who are fully vaccinated, suggesting that unvaccinated travelers would likely bear the brunt of any resulting policy changes.

T0906TOLLMAN1140

Needless pause

Trafalgar CEO Gavin Tollman writes that this latest wave of Covid is unnecessary, and that makes him angry. 

An EU official told Travel Weekly that if member states are currently allowing in vaccinated travelers, they are able to opt to continue to do so. At the same time, members who are not requiring travelers to be vaccinated would be under no obligation to change their policy.

Jack Ezon, founder and managing partner of New York-based travel agency Embark Beyond, reported that many Europe-bound clients were concerned about the shift in guidance, and Embark was moving quickly in order to assuage their fears.

“Every article out there says, ‘it may prohibit [travel],’ and clients read this and then they’re in a panic,” said Ezon. “We need to get out there and say, ‘Yes, they moved us to the red list,’ but then explain what that means. “And in essence, it’s a suggestion.”

Italy enhanced its rules on the heels of the EU’s announcement: Travelers coming into Italy from the U.S., including those who are vaccinated, will need to obtain proof of a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to entry. Previously, fully vaccinated travelers did not need a test to enter. 

Travelers who cannot show proof of vaccine or Covid recovery must quarantine for five days and then take a test.
A number of Embark’s clients, and especially those with unvaccinated travel companions, were rushing to push their Europe travel dates forward in order to get into the region “before the doors close,” according to Ezon.

Phillip Archer, founder and chief experience designer at San Francisco-based Roaming Richly Travel, said he’s been inundated by client phone calls since the EU guidance change.

T0621EUROPEMAP_SS_HR [Credit: Janis Abolins/Shutterstock.com]

Europe travel

Travel Weekly has compiled entry information on countries that are open to U.S. visitors.

Last week, he put out an email to help mitigate client concerns, asserting that it would “seem extreme” for EU member states to fully ban inbound U.S. travel. A wave of “requirements for travel that better mitigate risk, like testing prior and during travel, even for those who are vaccinated” seemed far more likely, he wrote.

The infographic provided by the council on who should be allowed to travel into the EU essentially split their suggestions on inbound travelers into three categories: Fully vaccinated travelers who should still be allowed to travel to the bloc (including children too young to be vaccinated, provided they’ve had a negative Covid test), followed by “essential travelers” and then “nonessential travelers from countries on the EU list,” which applies to “all travelers” from that country.

The EU reviews its recommendations for the list every two weeks. Among the criteria for removing countries from the safe-travel list were that a country have no more than 75 new Covid cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. 

On Aug. 27, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported that the U.S. had recorded approximately 600 new Covid cases per 100,000 for the two weeks ending Aug. 22. 

The EU official who spoke to Travel Weekly said that the purpose of the council’s recommendations was to try and align EU member policies as much as possible. But again, since it’s left up to each country to decide its policies, the situation for inbound travelers is as fluid as it’s ever been. 

World Travel & Tourism Council CEO Julia Simpson was critical of the EU’s recommendation, calling it “a step backwards.”

“Critically, we need a common set of rules that recognize global vaccines and remove the need to quarantine for people with a negative Covid result,” she said.

Tour operators have also had to proactively engage in customer outreach. Collette, which had already announced that it would require that all travelers on international tours be fully vaccinated starting Sept. 1, put out a statement assuring clients that the company’s EU itineraries would continue to operate.

“Our guests are fully vaccinated, and our team continues to do its due diligence in vetting every aspect of travel within the European Union, while adhering to necessary testing and guidance that has been set forth,” said Collette CEO Dan Sullivan Jr. in a release.

Tour company Walks, which is part of Hornblower Group’s City Experiences brand, has similarly stepped up its client communication efforts, keeping guests abreast of any changes and responding to questions via its blog and social media platforms, according to Walks president and founder Stephen Oddo.

I feel like many of my clients who were starting to make plans for European travel will now hold off until we know more about specific countries.– travel advisor Margie Hand

“Our guests mostly have questions about the implications and want to know the latest travel guidance and requirements,  so far, we’ve not seen any increased cancellation rates or decreased booking rates,” said Oddo, describing Italy’s new arrival policy as “a very light change.”

Others in the travel space, however, are already feeling more significant impact from the EU’s announcement. Daniel Scher, a travel consultant with Strong Travel Services, a Dallas-based Virtuoso agency, said that the EU’s move has brought his European business “to a standstill.”

The EU’s announcement “will cause people that are on the ledge about traveling to reconsider,” added Scher.

Margie Hand, an Andavo Travel affiliate based in Birmingham, Ala., also worried about the level of uncertainty the EU’s guidance has spawned.

“I feel like many of my clients who were starting to make plans for European travel will now hold off until we know more about specific countries,” said Hand. “This does add another wrinkle for agents in an already difficult time.”





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Supreme Court allows Texas’ 6-week abortion ban to take effect


Beyond outlawing abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, the Texas law, signed in May, would deputize citizens to file civil suits against abortion providers or anyone who helps facilitate the procedure after six weeks, such as a person who drives a pregnant person to the clinic. Individuals found to have violated the law would have to pay $10,000 to the person who successfully brings such a suit — a bounty abortion rights advocates warn will encourage harassment, intimidation and vigilantism.

Anti-abortion groups in the state such as Texas Right to Life have in recent weeks set up tip lines for people to anonymously report violators, ahead of the law’s implementation. Earlier on Tuesday, the a federal district court issued a temporary restraining order barring the group from filing suits against a small group of individuals and organizations that assist patients in obtaining an abortion. But both sides of the case acknowledge the order is very narrow, and the anti-abortion group said it still plans to solicit tips and bring lawsuits against abortion providers now that courts have given a green light to the law’s implementation.

The group’s spokesperson Kimberlyn Schwartz told POLITICO that protesters have flooded their “whistleblower” website with phony tips in recent days, but claimed “they’ve been extremely easy to spot and filter out.” Schwartz said soliciting tips is just one of the ways they plan to enforce the state’s law, but declined to answer whether they also plan to physically monitor clinics.

“We’ll be on the lookout for illegal abortions that are happening,” she said. “We will see how the abortionists behave.”

McGill Johnson said Planned Parenthood’s clinics in Texas are already noticing an increase in surveillance in the lead up to the law’s implementation.

“As our providers are grappling with the logistical challenges of calling all their patients and telling them what they’ll be able to provide and helping them find places to access abortions out of state and secure funds for travel, they’re also getting a lot of incoming,” she said. “Sometimes it looks like people sitting in our parking lots taking down license plate numbers, and taking pictures.”

The groups challenging Texas’ law, including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, had been hanging their hopes on the federal district court where they were seeking an order temporarily blocking implementation. Over the weekend, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals intervened to cancel a planned hearing there, and on Monday the groups filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

The high court, or a lower federal court, could still issue a stay in the coming days, halting enforcement of the law and allowing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy to resume.

Abortion rights groups plan to keep challenging the law on the merits, though they warn that millions of Texas women will lose access to the procedure as the case proceeds.

“Patients will have to travel out of state — in the middle of a pandemic — to receive constitutionally guaranteed health care,” Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “And many will not have the means to do so. It’s cruel, unconscionable, and unlawful.”

A fetal heartbeat usually can be detected around six weeks of pregnancy, when many women still don’t even know they are pregnant.

And while abortion rights advocates have touted the recent ability to dispense abortion pills via telemedicine and by mail as a way for people in conservative states to evade mounting restrictions on the procedure, the state on Tuesday also sent a ban on mail delivery of the pills to the governor’s desk.

Should the Supreme Court overturn or significantly curtail Roe next year, more states are expected to enact near total abortion bans similar to Texas’. Six-week bans enacted by at least a dozen states have all been blocked by courts until now. But the citizen enforcement scheme made the Texas law more difficult to challenge in court, and the Supreme Court’s decision to side, for now, against the clinics is likely to encourage copycat bills in other states.



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Niagara County state of emergency, travel ban in effect


Severe weather once again rolled through Western New York Tuesday, sending Niagara County into a state of emergency. That included a travel ban for all areas in the county. 

Tjee Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said only emergency traffic is advised.

A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect until 10:45 pm. for central Niagara County.

NWS Buffalo also issued a Flash Flood Warning for southern Niagara County along with northeastern Erie County until 10:15 p.m.

In Lockport, there were reports of hail and widespread flash flooding due to heavy rain.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.





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Booking.com Reveals How The ‘pandemic Effect’ Could Finally Tip Sustainable Travel Intent Into Impactful Action


77% of Kiwi travellers think sustainable travel is
vital, with 61% saying the pandemic has made them want to
travel more sustainably in the future

  • 81%
    of travellers want to seek out accommodation that has
    reputable third-party sustainability accreditation, but 49%
    say there simply still aren’t enough sustainable travel
    options available in 2021
  • 3 out of 4 global
    accommodation providers say they have implemented at least
    some kind of sustainability practices at their property,
    only one-third communicate about their efforts proactively
    to potential guests
  • To make sustainable
    travel choices easier, Booking.com is now showing
    third-party sustainability certifications and details on a
    range of 30+ impactful practices in place at hundreds of
    thousands of properties around the world

New
research released today from Booking.com suggests that the
pandemic has been the tipping point for travellers to
finally commit to their own sustainable journey, with 68% of
Kiwi travellers believing we have to act now to save the
planet for future generations.

Booking.com’s 2021
Sustainable Travel Report reveals that more than three
quarters (77%) of Kiwi travellers think sustainable travel
is a vital part of achieving this, with two thirds (61%)
stating that the pandemic has influenced them to want to
travel more sustainably. The timing of the report makes the
findings even more poignant, as the travel industry looks to
rebuild amidst the ongoing pandemic, says Todd Lacey, Area
Manager of Booking.com New Zealand.

“Our research
uncovers how the travel hiatus has opened New Zealanders’
eyes to the impact, both positive and negative, that their
trips can have on local ecosystems and communities around
the world,” says Lacey. “At Booking.com we believe
travel is a force for good, but it has to be done in the
right way to ensure we are protecting the planet for future
generations.”

According to the report, the desire to
live in a more environmentally conscious way isn’t limited
to travel; almost half (49%) admitted that the pandemic has
also shifted their attitude to make positive changes in
their everyday lives, with recycling (49%) and reducing food
waste (37%) being the top priorities at home.

These
day-to-day sustainable commitments complement Kiwi
travellers’ intentions for future trips with 80% wanting
to reduce general waste, 79% wanting to reduce their energy
consumption and 75% wanting to use more environmentally
friendly modes of transport such as walking, cycling or
public transport over taxis or rental cars.

Breaking
down sustainable travel barriers

Fortunately, it’s
not just good intentions. Many of these sustainable pledges
are coming to fruition, with travellers revealing that while
on holiday in the past 12 months, 40% made a conscious
decision to turn off their air conditioning/heater in their
accommodation when they weren’t there, 53% took their own
reusable water bottle, rather than buying bottled water, and
38% did activities to support the local community.

Yet
Kiwi travellers feel their own efforts may be hindered when
on holiday with over half (58%) admitting they get annoyed
if their accommodation stops them from being sustainable,
for example by not offering recycling facilities. Further,
despite 81% of travellers pledging to seek out accommodation
that has reputable third-party sustainability accreditation,
barriers still remain with 49% of travellers believing there
simply still aren’t enough sustainable travel options
available in 2021. However this may be due to lack of
communication rather than lack of action on the part of
accommodation providers.

Research revealed that 82%**
of Booking.com’s accommodation partners surveyed share the
sustainability sentiment of travellers. However, although 3
out of 4** accommodation partners say they have implemented
sustainable steps at their property, only one-third (31%**)
actively communicate about their efforts to potential
guests, with this mostly happening at the time of check-in
(59%**). With half of Kiwi travellers still believing ample
sustainable travel options are not available, this suggests
that significant change is needed to make sustainability
information accessible at earlier stages of the booking
process.

Closing the gap, step by step

As part
of Booking.com’s mission to make it easier for everyone to
experience the world and as a leader in travel, the company
believes they have an important responsibility to make
sustainable choices easier, both for accommodation providers
and travelers. That’s why the company is currently rolling
out a program for properties that will support them in
taking the next steps to become more sustainable, no matter
where they might be on that journey. This includes sharing
guidance, insights and best practices with properties via
various educational opportunities, including handbooks and
dedicated content, all available via the Booking.com Partner
Hub.

In connection, Booking.com is currently
displaying over 30 certifications officially approved by the
Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Green Tourism and
the EU Ecolabel, as well as multiple hotel chain
sustainability programs. The company is sourcing this
information directly from the certification bodies and
displaying it on the property pages of partners who hold one
of these established third-party certifications.

To
complement this, Booking.com is also encouraging its
accommodation partners to update their sustainability
information, which includes 32 impactful practices across
five key categories: waste, energy and greenhouse gases,
water, supporting local communities and protecting nature.
From this global roll-out, hundreds of thousands of
properties have already started to share at least some of
their sustainability information with Booking.com, which can
be viewed on the ‘Sustainability initiatives’ banner on
each of their property pages. While it’s still early days,
this is an important first step in providing more
sustainability information in a transparent way to
consumers, ultimately making it easier for them to start
making more sustainable travel choices.

“As as a
leader in travel, at Booking.com we believe we have an
important responsibility to make sustainable choices easier,
both for accommodation providers and travellers. While there
is much, much more to be done, we are optimistic about the
passion and commitment we are seeing from all sides,” says
Lacey.

“The more sustainable practices we can help
our partners to identify and implement, the more we can
experiment with how best to highlight this information to
customers and ultimately make sustainability a transparent
and easily identifiable part of their travel decision-making
process. A small change like eliminating single-use plastics
or switching to energy-efficient LED light bulbs might seem
insignificant in isolation, but multiplied by millions of
travelers and properties around the world, these small steps
all start to add up to a much bigger potential positive
impact so that together we can create a truly regenerative
and responsible future for all travel.”

To download
Booking.com’s full 2021 Sustainable Travel Report, click
here.

© Scoop Media

 



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Booking.com reveals how the ‘pandemic effect’ could finally tip sustainable travel intent for Aussies into impactful action


SYDNEY, June 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  Booking.com today releases the 2021 Sustainable Travel Report, revealing the pandemic might have been the tipping point for travellers to finally commit to their own sustainable journey. The research finds Aussies are more committed than ever to travel mindfully, with 61% of travellers believing people have to act now to save the planet for future generations.

72% think sustainable travel is a vital part of achieving this, with 51% stating the pandemic has influenced them to want to travel more sustainably. The timing of the report makes the findings even more poignant, as the travel industry looks to rebuild amidst the ongoing pandemic, says Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.

“Our research uncovers how the travel hiatus has opened Australians’ eyes to the impact, both positive and negative, their trips can have on local ecosystems and communities around the world,” says Foxall. “At Booking.com we believe travel is a force for good, but it has to be done in the right way to ensure we’re protecting the planet for future generations.”

While on holiday in the past 12 months, 41% made a conscious decision to turn off their air conditioning/heater, 44% took their own reusable water bottle and 33% did activities to support the local community. In fact, over half (53%) admit they get annoyed if accommodations stop them from being sustainable.

72% say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the upcoming year, a notable increase from 55% in 2016. Overall, 46% of travellers still believe in 2021, there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.

While 3 out of 4** accommodation partners say they implemented sustainable steps, only one-third (31%**) actively communicate about their efforts proactively.

Booking.com is currently rolling out a program for properties to support them in becoming more sustainable. This includes sharing best practices through educational opportunities, handbooks and dedicated content via the Booking.com Partner Hub.

Booking.com now displays ‘Sustainability initiatives’ banner on property pages, including over 30 certifications officially approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Green Tourism and the EU Ecolabel.

Find full release and methodology here.

CONTACT DETAILS

For further information, contact the Booking.com Australia
Press Office;
kelly.ferrier@redhavas.com

SOURCE Booking.com



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Air travel increasing, as Massachusetts travel advisory takes effect Monday


WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP)- It’s spring break, and families are heading south, to states like Florida that have fully reopened.

Airports like Bradley International Airport, are seeing a surge in travelers, who are getting a lot more comfortable during this stage of the pandemic.

“People need to be out there and live their life, plain and simple,” said Mike Keefe of Springfield. “You can’t be scared, and we can’t be hibernating and hiding.”

Despite CDC warnings, many who are fully vaccinated also have no concerns about traveling at this point.

“I was in the Pfizer study group, so I got my vaccinations last August and September,” said Charlie MacPhaul, a Springfield native heading back home to Georgia. “So I’m feeling very good about it.”

Travel is clearly becoming much busier now. On Saturday, the TSA screened more passengers than on any other day in the past year. The number of screened passengers actually was more than doubled Saturday than the same day in 2020.

And this comes as Massachusetts will no longer enforce travel restrictions. The travel advisory going into effect Monday only discourages travel. This means the $500 per day fine for not testing negative or staying in quarantine after traveling to a high-risk state, will end. You also are no longer required to fill out a travel form.

But according to the advisory, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents who left the state for more than a day, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. This doesn’t apply to fully vaccinated travelers, as long as they waited 2 weeks from the time they got their second dose, or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.



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Massive storm closes I-25 and shutters DIA; blizzard warning remains in effect | Colorado Springs News


A late-winter storm halted travel across the Front Range on Sunday, closing Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock and shutting down all six runways at Denver International Airport.

A blizzard warning was in effect until midnight Sunday for much of Colorado’s Front Range, stretching from northern El Paso County to the Wyoming state line. Sustained winds and wet, heavy snow canceled more than 1,400 flights at DIA and threatened to upend Denver’s one-day snowfall record while tangling traffic on ice-slicked roads across the state.

“Stay put, please,” urged the Colorado State Patrol, which scrambled to keep up with crashes, slide-offs and even overturned snowplows on Interstate 70 west of Denver during the second round of a two-day storm system.

Both lanes of I-70 were closed between Golden and Floyd Hill on Sunday, stranding some ski-country visitors, and one trooper remarked that the snow squall left him unable to see his own road flares at a traffic blockade.

In many places, schools and government offices were closed or put on reduced hours Monday. Although the snow was on course to peter out by Monday morning, drivers were warned to expect perilous commutes due to slick roads.

In the Pikes Peak region, blowing snow and white-out conditions led authorities to close Interstate 25 in both directions between Interquest Parkway in Colorado Springs and Plum Creek Parkway in Castle Rock. Highways 83 and 105 were also closed, blocking travel to the north. No word on a reopening was available as of press time Sunday.

El Paso County’s full complement of 36 plows was active throughout the day, even as authorities cautioned against unnecessary travel. Police in Colorado Springs and Fountain were on accident alert, meaning they responded only to crashes with serious injuries.

Below Pikes Peak, Monument was hit perhaps hardest, falling within the southern tip of a blizzard warning that followed the Rocky Mountains to Wyoming. Blizzards are characterized by blowing snow reducing visibility to ¼-mile or less for three hours or longer, plus sustained winds of at least 35 mph.

Monument and Black Forest received 10 to 16 inches by Sunday evening, while northern Colorado Springs received 6 to 10 inches, according to Eric Petersen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Pueblo. Southern Colorado Springs and Fountain received between 3 and 6 inches.

In the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Teller County communities dodged the blizzard designation even as they received what could be a historic dumping — exceeding 22 inches of accumulation in Woodland Park, by one resident’s measurement.

No snowfall records were available for the area, but this year’s storm left Petersen reaching for a precedent. 

“It’s probably been a few years,” he said. “We had a big storm in 2003 that dumped at least this much or more.”

Although Colorado Springs Utilities had warned of potential disruptions to water and power in the Pikes Peak area, just one water outage affecting a couple dozen people was reported on the utility’s website as of 5 p.m. The Red Cross closed warming shelters in Colorado Springs and Monument on Sunday because they were empty. A third, in Peyton, remained open.

Parts of the Eastern Plains were likewise pummeled. Northeast of Colorado Springs, all Elbert County roads were closed effective at 4 p.m., and the county declared a state of emergency, warning that abandoned vehicles would be moved to aid in snow removal.

Denver’s nearly 2 feet of snow made for one of its biggest snowstorms in years.

“This may end up being the highest one-day total for them,” Petersen said.

Just before noon, Denver International Airport announced it had closed all runways because of blowing snow and low visibility, and all airlines ceased had ceased operations for the day by 5 p.m. More than 1,400 flights were canceled and dozens more delayed, according to flightaware.com

By 6 p.m., nearly all flights at Colorado Springs Airport were listed as canceled — roughly two dozen — and just a handful were operating on time or with delays, according to the city’s website.

The status of air travel at DIA on Monday remains unclear, officials said.

“Airlines have not yet decided on schedules for tomorrow, but delays and some cancellations are expected,” a DIA spokesman said in a written statement. “Passengers are strongly encouraged to check their flight status before coming to the airport tomorrow.”

Gazette editors Tom Roeder and Erin Prater and reporter Hannah Metzger contributed to this story. 



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Blizzard Warning In Effect As Biggest Snowstorm In 15 Years Hits Denver – CBS Denver


DENVER (CBS4) – The winter storm slamming Colorado was upgraded to a blizzard early in the afternoon on Sunday. A Blizzard Warning was issued for Denver and the the entire Front Range through midnight Sunday for very difficult to impossible travel conditions. The storm has officially dropped more than 2 feet of snow in Denver.

Download the new CBS Denver app to get all the latest news and weather impacting people here in Colorado.

READ MORE: No Flights In Or Out Of Denver International Airport Until Monday Due To Blizzard

Additional snowfall between 2 and 6 inches will combine with wind gusts up to 45 mph to create extremely limited visibility across the Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins areas.

(source: CBS)

As of 7 p.m. on Sunday, Denver had officially measured 24.1 inches of snow and had over 1.07 inches of liquid precipitation. This storm is now the biggest snowstorm to hit the Denver metro area since at least the first of back-to-back blizzards hit before and after Christmas in 2006.

(source: CBS)

It is likely Denver will exceed the total from the 2006 storm (20.7 inches) by the end of the day on Sunday. Which means this blizzard will be the worst since the major blizzard in March 2003.

RELATED: ‘Whiteout, Brutal Conditions’ On Interstate 70, Closures In Foothills & Out East

Most of the Denver metro area will see another 4 to 8 inches of heavy, wet snow through Sunday evening. Most of that will fall through early afternoon on Sunday.

READ MORE: Colorado National Guard Rescues Stranded Drivers During Blizzard In Northern Colorado

A Winter Storm Warning is also in effect through 6 a.m. Monday for most of the mountains and parts of the Eastern Plains. Locations in the foothills of northern Jefferson County, Boulder County, and Larimer County including Genesee, Black Hawk, Nederland, Estes Park, and Red Feather Lakes should see 10-15 inches of additional snow through Sunday night.

Kathy Gomez shovels her sidewalk on March 14, 2021 in Denver.

Kathy Gomez shovels her sidewalk on Sunday in Denver. (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The mountains east of Vail Pass are expecting another 6 to 12 inches of snow including for ski areas like Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Loveland, and Winter Park. Amounts should be somewhat less of Vail Pass with 3 to 7 inches of additional snow for Aspen/Snowmass, Crested Butte, Vail, and Beaver Creek.

Meanwhile, Winter Weather Advisories continue for many other areas around the state with additional accumulation expected in all areas under an advisory.

The extra heavy snow in the mountains has contributed to raising the avalanche danger in Colorado. An Avalanche Warning continues through 6am Monday for most of the central mountains in the state. The danger is “high” which is level 4 of 5.

(source: CBS)

Another storm will approaching Colorado on Tuesday with a chance for snow in the metro area starting in the afternoon. Accumulation is possible but it will be much less compared to this weekend.

RELATED: Colorado Is Known For Heavy March Snow, One Storm Ended Record Drought In 2003MORE NEWS: I-70 Closures During Blizzard Leave Colorado Drivers With Tough Decisions About Postponing Travel

Farther north, a Blizzard Warning also continues through 6 a.m. Monday for up to 30 inches of snow combined with wind gusts up to 60 mph in southeast Wyoming, the panhandle of Nebraska, and even the Black Hills region in South Dakota. Travel is essentially shut down across this region.



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