U.S. airports this weekend are not so merry & bright… With many travelers stranded due to flight disruptions brought on by COVID-19.
More than 900 flights were canceled on Christmas Day, on top of almost 700 cancellations a day earlier, upending holiday plans for tens of thousands of people, as airlines scrambled to rebook as many people as they can.
"I thought it was incredibly stressful two years ago. I had no idea what stressful really meant up until now."
The rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights as pilots and crew isolate.
Robert Sinclair is a spokesperson for AAA:
“There is only so much an employer can do. For those who work in offices, employers can say stay home and work remotely, but that's not the case with airline personnel."
The average number of new U.S. COVID infections rose 45% to 179,000 per day over the past week, according to a Reuters tally.
And the Omicron variant now accounts for nearly three-quarters of U.S. COVID cases.
The variant’s impact on air travel is not just a problem in the United States. Globally, more than 2,500 flights were called off on Saturday and some 5,400 others were delayed.