by Ian Haworth, Daily Wire:
Flight cancellations in the United States have dragged the “Christmas flightmare” experienced by travelers over the Christmas period into the new year.
According to FlightAware, over 3,300 flights globally have been canceled on Sunday so far, while nearly 4,400 flights around the world were cancelled on Saturday. Of these, 2,500 flights were in the U.S. on Saturday, and 1,910 were in the U.S. on Sunday.
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Chicago O’Hare International Airport has been hardest hit, with 256 flights cancelled, amounting to 25% of all flights. Denver International Airport and Newark International Airport has seen numerous cancellations, as has Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, New York’s JFK and Boston’s Logan International Airport.
As was the case over the Christmas holiday, airlines have been struggling with staffing numbers due to the spread of COVID-19, as well as bad weather in the United States. Since December 24, more than 12,000 flights have been cancelled in the U.S. alone.
“Today’s cancellations are driven by Omicron staffing and weather-related issues. We did pre-cancel flights in anticipation of inclement weather. We’ve been contacting passengers early if their flights are cancelled to give them time to rebook or make other plans,” United Airlines said in a statement.
Allegiant canceled 27% of its flights on Saturday, with spokeswoman Hilarie Grey blaming COVID-19 staffing issues and weather.
“As you’ve noted, we continue to have an unusual number of cancellations this week — some have been due to severe weather, and some due to other factors — including the type of unanticipated staff impacts from COVID experienced by other airlines and partners in places where we fly,” Grey told CNN. “The ongoing impact of these factors is not something we can predict, but we do anticipate additional delays and cancellations this week, unfortunately. Of course when an unanticipated disruption to travel occurs, customer care notifies the affected passengers directly and relays options to be re-accommodated to another flight, receive a refund, credit or other compensation.”