Due to the coronavirus variant, travelers are experiencing a difficult Christmas Eve at the airport. According to Flight Aware, United Airlines canceled 170 flights on Friday. This is about 9% of their scheduled schedule and 90 for Saturday.
FOX Business identified 21 cases in which United Airlines canceled flights on Christmas Eve. These cancellations were directly attributable to the coronavirus. FOX Business stated that staffing problems caused the cancellations.
The following message appears on United Airlines’ website for a Friday flight from Denver to Newark: “Your flight has been canceled due to an increased number of Covid cases that limit crew availability. We are sorry to disrupt your holiday plans and for any inconvenience caused.
FOX Business was informed by a spokesperson for United Airlines that some flights were disrupted due to the national spike in coronavirus Omicron variant cases.
“The Omicron case spike this week has had a direct effect on our flight crews as well as the people running our operation. We have had to cancel some flights due to this and will notify affected customers before they arrive at the airport. The spokesperson stated that they were sorry for the disruptions and would work hard to rebook as many people as possible to get them on their holiday way.
United Airlines isn’t the only airline that is feeling the effects of the omicron variation. Delta Air Lines has also been affected by some flight cancellations due to the omicron version. Flight Aware reports that Delta Air Lines canceled 131 flights Friday.
We apologize to our customers that their holiday plans were delayed. The spokesperson stated that Delta employees are doing everything possible to get customers to their destinations as quickly as possible and safely on the next flight. Flight cancellations can be attributed to a variety of factors, including inclement weather in certain areas and the Omicron variant’s impact.
Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian and others stated in a Dec. 21 correspondence to Dr. Rochelle Walsky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it was time for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revisit the isolation guidelines for vaccine-vaccinated persons.
Instead, Bastian’s and Delta’s medical personnel suggested a 5-day isolation period starting at the moment symptoms start. They stated that the omicron variant could “exacerbate shortages and cause significant disruptions.”
“With the rapid spread Omicron variant, the 10-day isolation of fully vaccinated individuals may have a significant impact on our workforce and operations. Similar to the Omicron surge in healthcare, firefighting, police and fire departments, it could cause significant disruptions and increase shortages. The letter also states that all airline employees must wear masks at airports and on planes.”
Airlines for America, which represents multiple U.S. airlines including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, wrote a support letter to Dr. Walensky for the 5-day isolation recommendation.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA sent a separate letter on December 23 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating their support for the current 10-day isolation recommendation.