Over 6,000 flights were canceled during Christmas weekend, primarily due to COVID-19 related complications.
Hundreds of flights were canceled on Sunday as the mass cancellation and delay count continued to rise due to people calling in sick and citing 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. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” United said in a statement. “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.”
United alone canceled 201 flights on Friday and 238 flights on Saturday.
Delta cancelled 173 flights just on Christmas Eve and Jet Blue cancelled 80.
“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans,” Delta said in a statement. “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.”
Across all airlines, thousands of flights were disrupted over the weekend.
“Almost 700 US flights were canceled and another 1,300 were delayed Sunday, according to FlightAware. Globally, there were over 2,000 cancellations. Delta and JetBlue each saw over 100 cancellations Sunday,” the CNN report explains.
Across the globe, over 6,000 flights were canceled from Christmas Eve through Sunday — including approximately 1,700 originating in or flying to the United States.
Holiday travel was up more than double this year from last, but is still well below the pre-pandemic levels.