Americans continue to have problems with vacation travel as major airlines canceled over 1,000 flights on Sunday, with some saying the Coronavirus-Omicron variant is causing staffing problems.
Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines reported hundreds of canceled or delayed flights on Sunday.
According to Flight Aware, 156 Delta Air Lines flights have been canceled, 618 of them delayed. United Airlines had 111 flight cancellations and 370 delays.
JetBlue canceled 124 flights and delayed 384 on Sunday, while Alaska Airlines canceled 101 flights and delayed 233, according to Flight Aware.
IMPORTANT AIRLINES CANCEL HUNDREDS OF FLIGHTS FOR SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AS COVID OMICRON VARIANT SIDELINES CREWS
On Christmas Day, 310 Delta Air Lines flights and 240 United Airlines flights were canceled.
Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines managed to cap the number of cancellations on Sunday but still delayed a number of flights. In total, American Airlines canceled 80 flights and delayed 459, while Southwest Airlines canceled 68 flights and delayed 912 on Sunday.
Some airlines blame a combination of winter weather and the Omicron variant for the cancellations and delays during the holiday weekend.
“The winter weather in parts of the US and the Omicron variant continued to influence Delta’s flight schedule on public holidays. Of the total of 4,155 main and connecting flights scheduled for Sunday, the airline canceled 161, with around 40 more cancellations for the day and fewer cancellations were forecast than forecast less than a day ago, “a Delta Air Lines spokesman told FOX Business.
The spokesman said the company expects around 40 flights could be canceled on Monday.
A spokesman for Southwest Airlines told FOX Business that they are facing “various challenges from weather and air traffic congestion,” but noted that the company had not experienced any coronavirus-related disruptions this week.
A United Airlines spokesman told FOX Business that the airline had out of more than 4,000 scheduled flights on Sunday 98 related to coronavirus-related personnel concerns. According to the spokesman, around 50% of travelers whose travel plans were disrupted arrived at their destination within four hours of their scheduled flight.
OMICRON VARIANT CAUSES CHRISTMAS FLIGHT LOSSES AND HEADACHES
However, Alaska Airlines was severely affected by the winter weather in the Seattle area, where its operations are based. The Seattle area was forecast to get about 4-6 inches of snow on Sunday.
âSnow and wintry conditions make our operations to and from Seattle nonsense. In order to adapt to the difficult weather conditions and impact at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, we had to cancel some of our flights that are expected to arrive or depart Seattle on December 26th. We apologize for possible flight delays and cancellations that may occur due to the weather. We know it’s incredibly frustrating when the trip doesn’t go as planned, “said the Alaska Airlines spokesman.
A JetBlue spokesman told FOX Business that the company is seeing “an increasing number of sick leave from Omicron” and is trying to cancel flights that are least disruptive to customers.
âDespite our best efforts, we have had to cancel a number of flights, and further flight cancellations and other delays are still possible as the Omicron community expands. The health and safety of our crew and customers remains our number one priority as we work through this pandemic and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience these schedule changes bring during the holidays, “the spokesman told FOX Business.
Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines’ chief executive officer, and other medical officials said in a December 21 letter to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said isolation guidelines for vaccinated individuals should be reviewed.
Instead, Bastian and Delta medical officers suggested a 5-day period of isolation from the time symptoms begin, stating that the Omicron variant “can worsen bottlenecks and cause significant disruption”.
“Given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, 10-day isolation for fully vaccinated individuals can have a significant impact on our workforce and operations. Similar to healthcare, police, fire brigade, and public transport workers, the increase in Omicron aggravate and create bottlenecks. ” significant interference. In addition, all airline staff at airports and on airplanes are required to mask themselves, “the letter said.
The JetBlue spokesman also said he supports reducing isolation time for people who are fully vaccinated and tested positive for the coronavirus.
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Airlines for America, a trade organization that represents several US airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines wrote a letter to Dr. Walensky in support of the 5-day isolation recommendation.
On December 23, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA wrote a separate letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that they support the current 10-day isolation recommendation.