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.
As of Friday morning, up to 1,900 flights worldwide have been canceled, according to the Flight Aware website.
This is the latest blow for holiday travelers amid the spike in COVID cases.
More flight cancellations may be slated for this upcoming weekend. If so, there will be travel pains for thousands of people who will most likely vent their rage on social media.