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Over 100 Flights Cancelled on Christmas Eve Due to Omicron Surge

The surge in the new COVID variant has left travelers stranded amidst travel plans for the Christmas holiday

Major airlines in the U.S. have canceled hundreds of Christmas Eve flights as the surge in the Omicron variant of COVID impacts flight crews and other airport employees.

United Airlines has canceled about 120 flights for Friday, with Delta canceling about 90 and Alaska Airlines canceling 17. 

The move has left hundreds of travelers stranded at airports nationwide, something United and Delta are working to resolve.

“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 on Thursday by spokesperson Josh Freed.

When a traveler accesses their itinerary that has been affected, the United Airlines online portal says: “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.” 

Delta said it had exhausted all options and resources before canceling around 90 flights for Friday. Impacted customers reportedly received emails that offered rerouting and rebooking options to ensure customers could reach their destinations. 

Delta’s online portal cited potential inclement weather and the impact of the Omicron variant for the cancellations that impacted its customers. 

This past week, after a congressional hearing with the heads of the airlines, both American and Alaska Airlines said they would follow President Biden’s guidelines for vaccine mandates. 

Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, vowed to fight the constraints of the vaccine mandate. 

On Tuesday, Bastian asked the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce quarantine guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals who contract a breakthrough case of COVID. He cited a direct impact on the airline’s workforce. He requested that the isolation period be reduced to five days from the current 10.

Other airlines, such as JetBlue, also supported Bastian’s request, urging the CDC to reconsider its current guidelines.

On Thursday, the CDC released updated quarantine guidelines for healthcare workers. The new guidelines cut the isolation time to seven days for workers who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic. However, no direct response has been given regarding the guidelines that impact other industries such as the airlines. 

The 2021 holiday season has been expected to be a significant rebound from the 2020 season. Analysts expect a growth of more than 34% during the nearly two-week period. 

Travelers were told they should prepare for long lines at airports and congested traffic on roadways. An estimated 109 million people are set to travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2.

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7 responses to “Over 100 Flights Cancelled on Christmas Eve Due to Omicron Surge”

  1. Wolv256 says:

    I don’t believe you that Omicron has caused staff shortages and your flights to be delayed. I believe your evil authoritarian oppressive government has cause staff shortages and your flights to be delayed. Fuck you!

  2. VauxhallViva1975 says:

    Omicron represents GLOBAL herd-immunity and a total end to this pandemic.
    But governments DON’T WANT THAT – as they have gained extra powers during this, by keeping everyone in fear. Frightened people WON’T fight back. If people realize that Omicron is no more serious then the flu, and that they get over it in a couple of days, and that you DON’T need to go to hospital or the ER….well – that threatens the POWER many governments have gained over the people during all this shit. So, they make Omicron out to be the MOST DEADLY variant yet – even though it is not – because they want to maintain that POWER. Omicron is the WORST thing to ever happen to governments around the world, but the best thing that the people of the world have ever had.

  3. MarkOakley says:

    With higher than 90% vaccination rates for all employees at all airlines, (including Delta, which applied pressure in other ways, like adding healthcare charges to employees and laying the ’employee education’ on thick), then why the hell is everybody getting sick?

    There’s a few possibilities:

    1. The cases are hysterical fake test results. Or it’s the flu.
    2. The vaccines don’t work.
    3. The vaccines are making people sick.
    4. They fsked themselves schedule-wise, weather-wise and this happens every year when they get a passenger surge.
    5. Some or all of the above and it’s a nothing burger being leveraged to scare everybody.

    Take yer pick. Seriously. Fsk these guys. I don’t believe anybody anymore.

  4. WingedLion says:

    I hope the TimCast crew was able to make it home for the holidays. Thanks for keeping us informed in 2021. Looking forward to to 2022’s rollercoaster

  5. BeenJammin says:

    Absolutely not true.

    As a doc in West Virginia, Prior to Covid, I used to admit patients with corona virus HKU hospital at least once a month for respiratory distress. The PCR is not a pan corona virus test. It is specific for Covid 19.

    If you’re not just looking for Covid you can order a respiratory panel that has specific PCRs for multiple viruses and sometimes bacteria

  6. Just an FYI; the current tests being used by the general public to test for C19, The PCR test, a test that was originally developed to test for AIDS can not differentiate between the many, many different corona viruses commonly present. The tests can only show the presence of a large viral load not what kind of virus or variant of that virus is present. The only truly accurate way to do that is to sequence the viral genome a process that is costly, complicated and takes several days and is not typically done on a large scale. So how is it that now all of the sudden we are detecting these new variants using a test that is utterly incapable of producing that kind of result??????????? This just doesn’t add up WTF.

  7. unspecialnoob says:

    Well crap. I’m in Brazil right now and am set to come back next week. Through Delta. Now I have to go check my itinerary…