Airlines have been pushed to the point of canceling more than two hundred flights on Christmas Eve as frustration and concern over the newest COVID-19 variant rises.
According to Fox News, United Airlines has canceled 165 Christmas Eve flights, which is about 8 percent of their entire day’s slate.
The airline cited staffing issues for the cancelations, saying that the increase in COVID cases is leading to an inability to find staff to make the flights happen.
The following message was shown on the United Airlines website regarding a flight from Denver to Newark that had been scheduled for Friday:
“Your flight is canceled due to an increase in Covid cases limiting crew availability. We’re sorry for disrupting your holiday plans and for the inconvenience.”
The airline spokesperson confirmed to Fox Businesses that it was the spike in coronaviruses Omicron variant that has made the negative impact on their ability to honor flights:
“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” the spokesperson said.
“As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
Delta Air Lines was also forced to cancel more than 100 flights on Friday, forcing them to issue an apology, according to Flight Aware:
“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. 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,” the spokesperson said.
“Flight cancellations are due to a combination of issues, including but not limited to, potential inclement weather in some areas and the impact of the Omicron variant.”