As of 0800 ET, CNN’s Pete Muntean said US airline carriers had canceled 450 flights due to staffing shortages linked to COVID-19 cases. He said 169 United Airlines Holdings Inc. and 127 Delta Air Lines Inc. flights were canceled.
The number of cancellations worldwide totaled 3,000, according to Flight Aware website. This is the latest blow to holiday travelers.
People are getting angry, venting their frustrations on social media.
@Delta how on earth can you cancel a flight on Dec 25 when people are trying to get home for Christmas??? How can you be so cruel inefficient and inconsiderate towards your frequent flyers??????? pic.twitter.com/4N1X8mW4hg
— BettyMarroquin2021 (@BMarroquin2021) December 24, 2021
Holiday travelers received a troubling last-minute message: major airlines are canceling flights on Christmas Eve due to staffing shortages linked to COVID-19 cases.
According to Bloomberg, at least 200 flights on Friday have been canceled by United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc.
“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” a United memo said, which was obtained by CNN.
United is “notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” according to the memo. “We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays.”
Delta said the same thing, a wave of cancellations is due to an outbreak of the Omicron variant.
“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans,” Delta said in a statement. “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.”
Flight cancellations due to staffing shortages have been nothing new for airlines in the last several months.
United Airlines on Thursday announced it is *preemptively* cancelling flights due to a spike in Omicron cases that had an impact on flight crews.
112 Christmas Eve flights have been cancelled so far.
“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” United said in a statement.
“We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays,” the airliner added.
BREAKING: United Airlines is preemptively cancelling flights due to Omicron impacts on flight crews. 112 flights are cancelled already for Friday. pic.twitter.com/YFIe58Sd1O
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) December 23, 2021
Americans are tuning out Omicron fear porn.
A record number of people are traveling this year because they are not afraid of Covid.
Air travel is higher than pre-pandemic levels.
JUST IN: Air travel is HIGHER than pre-pandemic levels. TSA says it screened more people at airports yesterday than on the same day in 2019. 2.08 million vs 1.94 million.
— Pete Muntean (@petemuntean) December 23, 2021