Thanks, Omicron: Hundreds of Christmas Eve Flights Canceled

United, Delta, and Alaska are canceling flights
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2021 1:37 AM CST
Updated Dec 24, 2021 6:56 AM CST
Omicron Is Causing Hundreds of Christmas Eve Flights to Be Canceled
FILE - A Delta Airlines pilot wears a face mask as he walks through a terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Airlines executives told legislators on Wednesday, Dec. 15 they are having trouble hiring pilots, flight attendants and other personnel,...   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(Newser) – Not exactly what holiday travelers want to hear the day before Christmas Eve: Three airlines announced Thursday they were canceling flights for the following day due to the omicron variant of COVID-19. United Airlines canceled more than 150 flights, saying "the nationwide spike in omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation." Delta Air Lines canceled more than 100 flights, also citing omicron as one of several reasons, CNN reports. And Alaska Airlines canceled 17, with more cancellations possible, also due to omicron.

Delta's CEO earlier this week urged the CDC to reconsider isolation guidelines for vaccinated people, Fox Business reports. "With the rapid spread of the omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations. Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions. Further, all airline personnel are required to mask at airports and on airplanes," the letter, which proposes a 5-day isolation, says. A trade organization representing multiple airlines agreed with the recommendation, but the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA disagreed and wants to stick with 10 days. (Read more omicron variant stories.)

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