As the Omicron variant continues to cause a slew of cases across the globe this holiday season, many alterations have been made to travel. With 454 flight cancellations on Christmas Eve in only the US, the 110 million US citizens traveling this holiday season are only pushing along the surge of cases that cause all the cancellations of flights.
However, now, in addition to the cancellations due to the worry for the spread of Covid, there are cancellations due to staff shortages. According to FlightAware, 2,200 flights were canceled on Sunday, December 26th, 2,800 on Saturday, Christmas Day, and 2,000 on Christmas Eve, December 24th.
In particular, JetBlue, Delta, and United airlines were notable for canceling flights due to staff shortages. JetBlue according to FlightAware canceled 10 percent of its flights, Delta canceled 5 percent, and United canceled 4 percent. Of course, the cancellations are not solely due to staff shortages, however, according to NBC News, "Delta, United, and JetBlue have blamed the omicron variant of the coronavirus for staffing shortages that forced cancellations."
In a statement, United said that "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.”
Delta also issued a statement, in which according to the Denver Post it said "that it canceled flights Friday because of the impact of omicron and possibility of bad weather after it had “exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying.”
However, there are still some airlines within the US who haven't said that they've been disrupted by Covid. According to the Denver Post, "American Airlines said it had “nothing to report,” while Southwest Airlines said, “things are running smoothly.”
With constant changes and alterations being made by the pandemic, every thing is up in the air for travel during the remainder of this holiday season.