by Amanda Prestigiacomo, Daily Wire:
A flight from Seattle to Shanghai Pudong International Airport was turned around mid-flight over COVID rules, reports say.
“Delta Air Lines said Monday that new pandemic-related cleaning requirements at a Shanghai airport were behind the turning back of a recent flight from Seattle in midair, a move that had prompted a protest from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco,” the Associated Press reported Monday.
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A statement from the airline indicated that “the new mandates at Shanghai Pudong International Airport ‘require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally viable for Delta,’” the outlet noted.
It remains unclear which specific mandates ultimately triggered the flight to be turned around.
The incident “left passengers with expired COVID-19 test results and U.S. visas,” Chinese media reports have said, the Associated Press reported.
The Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Sunday acknowledged that many flights from the U.S. to China had been delayed or canceled, adding that a flight did turn back after traveling more than halfway to its destination, the report added.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, thousands of Christmas-weekend flights were canceled, with thousands more catching lengthy delays:
The Daily Mail dubbed the situation a “Christmas Flightmare,” noting that nearly 1000 flights either entering or leaving the United States were canceled on Christmas Day alone, and some 3000 additional flights were delayed that day as well
CNN transportation reporter Pete Muntean had the story going into the holiday weekend, tweeting, “DEVELOPING: United Airlines is canceling more than 100 Christmas Eve flights citing the Omicron variant’s impact on flight crews and workers.”
“UPDATE: Now Delta Air Lines is canceling 90+ flights tomorrow due to a ‘combination of issues’ including the impact of the Omicron variant. ‘Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources,’” he added in a follow-up tweet.
Delta also made headlines Monday over a passenger who reportedly caused a fit over a maskless fellow passenger during the flight, The Daily Wire reported:
“Police say they were called to Hartsfield-Jackson International airport last week in reference to an unruly passenger on a Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta,” WSB-TV reported. “Officers and Delta employees were waiting at the gate when the plane arrived. Passengers exiting the plane told police that a passenger named Patricia Cornwall caused a ‘disturbance’ that led to the injury of other passengers and Delta employees.”