America's Flight Woes Stretch Into Day 5

Tuesday brings more delays, cancellations
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2021 8:37 AM CST
Updated Dec 28, 2021 7:33 AM CST
America's Flight Woes Show No Signs of Stopping
A traveler is silhouetted by the sliding doors near the United Airlines check-in counter in the terminal of Denver International Airport Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Update: If you were hoping today would bring the reprieve to the travel woes that have been persisting since Friday, bad news: Another swatch of flights have already been canceled on Tuesday. CNN cites FlightAware data that shows roughly 700 flights within, into, or out of the US have been canceled, and another 600 delayed. Globally the figures are about 2,300 and 3,700, respectively. Monday didn't end pretty, with some 2,800 flights canceled and 11,000 delayed around the globe. Insider notes that about 13,000 flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve morning. Our original story from Monday follows:

America's flight woes spilled into Monday, with FlightAware showing 800 flights within, into, or out of the US are already canceled; nearly 1,300 are delayed. Globally, 2,300 flights have been axed, and another 5,600 are delayed. CNN reports those cancellations are roughly on par with the total of 6,000 that were canceled across the three-day holiday weekend that began on Christmas Eve. The blame is being directed squarely at omicron. "The nationwide spike in omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation," United said in a statement.

One exception seems to be Southwest, which the New York Times reported canceled just 1% of flights on Sunday, with a rep saying the cause in all cases was weather: "We haven’t had any operational issues related to COVID." If you're not traveling and wondering what the airport scene is like, MarketWatch shares this tweet, "Left house at 3 am. Flight got canceled. Waited 3 hrs in line to rebook, then 30 mins at Starbucks line. Feels good to sit down and have my first coffee ... Could have been way worse, glad I got a flight." While travel numbers are up compared to last year, they're still down from pre-pandemic counts, with the TSA projecting 30 million people will fly between Dec. 20 and Jan. 3, down from about 44 million during the same dates in 2019. (More air travel stories.)

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