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Hundreds of flights were canceled between Eve and Christmas Day and United Airlines blames the lack of staff caused by the increase in Ómicron cases.
United Airlines canceled 168 flights on Friday and another 47 on Saturday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
“The nationwide surge in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” a United Airlines spokesperson told the New York Post.
The company said they are contacting customers affected by the cancellations before they head to the airport.
Delta Air Lines it also faces cancellations on the same two days.
The airline eliminated 115 flights on Christmas Eve, which represents five percent of total trips for the day, according to FlightAware.
On Christmas Day, Delta canceled another 52 flights, two percent of the trips that day, the site said.
Weather also plays a role in Delta cancellations, with winter storms affecting the Seattle and Salt Lake City area.
“Delta crews have exhausted all options and resources, including rerouting and aircraft and crew substitutions to cover scheduled flights, before canceling about 90 flights for Friday,” a spokesperson told the New York Post. .
“We apologize to our clients for the delay in their vacation travel plans. The people at Delta are working hard to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible on the next available flight, ”the spokesperson said.
Airline industry leaders have been lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue updated guidance that reduces self-isolation time for people infected with COVID-19.
As of Thursday night, Alaska Airlines had also canceled 17 flights.
United Chief Executive Scott Kirby told Good Morning America on Monday that he expected 420,000 customers a day to travel with the airline over the next two weeks.
AAA’s vacation travel forecast, released last week, predicted that a total of 6.4 million people would travel by air between December 23 and January 2.
This represents an increase of 184 percent over the same period in 2020.
About 100.1 million people will travel by car, while about 2.9 million will use other methods such as trains or buses.
That’s 33.9 percent more than in 2020, but still 8.2 percent below the pre-pandemic levels of 119.3 million travelers in 2019.