Surging cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have caused dozens of last-minute cancellations of Christmas Eve flights across the U.S.
Why it matters: Thousands of customers are believed to be affected by the latest pandemic-driven travel disruption, with United Airlines confirming to Axios that about 120 flights planned for Friday had been canceled across the network.
- Delta, JetBlue and Allegiant also canceled flights, taking the total to more than 1,400, per the New York Times.
What they’re saying: “The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” a United spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
- “As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” the spokesperson said, noting that airline staff were working to rebook as many people as possible.
- Delta said in a statement to Nexstar, “Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday.” The airline was also working on rebooking flights.
- Axios has contacted all affected airlines for comment.