Holiday flight cancelations are in the triple digits for the second straight day following concerns over the Omicron variant. As of 7:30 am Eastern time today, Saturday, December 25th, Airlines canceled 849 flights.
Delta Air Lines has canceled 281 flights. Delta canceled 173 flights on Christmas eve. The fact that they’ve already canceled more before some people have woken up is not a great sign. United Airlines has canceled 236. Jetblue canceled 120. American Airlines canceled 88 flights as people try to get home to their families for the holidays.
According to The Hill, These cancelations follow the new spike in COVID-19 Cases. The new, highly transmissible Omicron variant is a big contributor to the surge. The Omicron variant has thrown a wrench in pandemic recovery.
It’s not only those in the U.S. that have been impacted by these flight cancellations. Millions of people across the globe are experiencing the same problems. In the United States, airlines canceled more than 1,000 over Christmas Eve and Christmas alone.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the hardest hit for holiday travelers trying to get home. Many people are stranded in the airport on Christmas as these cases surge. Healthcare facilities are already preparing for a continued surge.
Therefore, to help stop the spread of the virus and protect yourself, the CDC recommends those who haven’t yet to get their booster shot.
“The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19,” their website says.
Airlines Have Addressed the Holiday Cancellations, Citing the Pandemic Strain
United Airlines told the Hill that Omicron directly impacted their flights. They cited a “nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation.”
The airline has had to cancel some flights for this reason and is “working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays.”
Meanwhile, Delta told The Hill a similar story. The airline said that they’ve “exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday.”
“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight,” the company said.